This Ending's Inside the Machine is a creeper. The first time I heard it, I really didn't care for it. It was alright, but the music seemed somewhat stilted and uninspired. Sure it was heavy, but so are a lot of groups - groups that manage to be more interesting, as well. Then, as I'm wont to do, I gave the album a second listen, and then a third. And with each listen, it became apparent that while hardly earthshaking, this was an album to savored and appreciated in its own time like a fine wine, cheese, or exploitational film.
This isn't to say that Inside the Machine is without its flaws, of which there are many. It definitely falls into the melodic death metal category, yes, but sadly brings nothing new to the genre. The blast beats and riffing will all sound familiar to most, but Swedish melodic death metal is a fairly critic-proof thing as the average listener isn't looking for a challenge, just something to play Gears of War to, and for that, the album will do well. It deserves your respect, maybe even your allowance but make no mistake, there's better music out there that's more original, more punishing, and more worthy of a longer review.
All indications are that This Ending is a side project only, the project of Amon Amarth drummer Fredrik Andersson, to be precise. Now, maybe I'm out of the loop because I don't speak Swedish, or because I'm not "Viking" enough, but I find it odd that neither group appear to acknowledge the others' existence. Whatever the reason, this is not a band to be so easily written off because if this is just a temporary thing, it's a fully realized album in most aspects. Although they may not be dismissed so quickly, it's whether they're remembered that remains to be seen. When all else is said and done, Inside the Machine is what it is and doesn't try to be anything more. If that's good enough for you, then go get it - you won't be disappointed.