By the time that Flaw released their second studio album Endangered Species in mid 2004, the Nu Metal wave had mostly dried up and the Metal Media were looking elsewhere for things to praise, as a critical mass of ill-feeling towards the genre made it an incredibly unfashionable thing to openly enjoy.
This, combined with reports that the band were rushed by their record company into releasing the album before it was ready, as well as reducing the heaviness of the guitar and vocals lead to many negative reviews and to the widespread ignoring or disapproval of the album by the public.
I think this was really rather unfortunate because Endangered Species is a completely enjoyable fifty minutes of well constructed, well produced and well performed music, from a greatly under-appreciated band who came out to late in a genre that was too overcrowded.
Endangered Species is unarguably a lot less heavy than their debut studio album Through The Eyes, with more melodic tracks and less screaming. If this is a problem, then by all means don't pick up the album. If however you really enjoy Chris Volz's clean vocals on Through The Eyes or with his other bands, then this is definitely an album that you should give a chance.
What the material lacks in heaviness, it does compensate adequately with emotive sections, an enjoyable and easily digestible formula and strong vocal performances. Occasionally they even wear their Tool influences on their sleeve for a few bars and create something interesting before returning to the aforementioned formula.
Standout tracks include the opener `Medicate' which is probably the closest track in style to the band's debut album, as well as the melodic `All The Worst' and the album closer `Not Enough.'
Of course, at the end of the day the album still is a Nu Metal album that came out long after all the genre's creators had made their definitive albums and that much can never change. If you don't like the genre at all or if you are only interested in the big radio tracks that are still played today then this won't give you what you are looking for.
Overall though, while Endangered Species is not the greatest album ever recorded, it is certainly nowhere near as bad as you may have heard and if you want more music from Flaw or Chris Volz don't let the negative reputation it has put you off from giving it a fair chance.
I personally enjoyed the album a lot, and provided that you aren’t the sort of person who will see the Nu Metal tag as instant evidence of poor quality, you may indeed enjoy it too.