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Ambiguous...solid but generic... - 70%

Infrej, January 17th, 2011

The first thing you should know about this record, created by fellow swedes from Dimension Zero is the thing, that this album has different approach in compairing with previous full-length records ( those 2 are quite similiar but still ballbreaking ones). The band, themselves, describe their record as "less thrashier and more melodic, reminding old In Flames". As for the first part, I agree with this statement, cause the departure of thrashy six-stringer Glenn Ljungström can barely pass unnoticeable (Glenn is responsible for most of the thrash riffs on the first albums). As for the second part - not really. Yeah, the melodies play major part on this CD, way more important then on pervious ones, but they remind more modern In Flames ala ASOP and CC rather than old ones (though Dimension Zero songs have faster tempo and more intenssive feeling generated with the help of relentless drums).

The opener track on DZ album is setting up the listener for certain mood of perception of the record`s songs. And from this point of view title track "He Who Shall Not Bleed" is one of the worst tracks of the album( not even compairing with "Silent Night Fever" and "This is Hell" openers), generic and really unoriginal riffs are uninteresting. But with second track kicking in ("Unto Others") you feel way more comfortable, cause this one is one of the better tracks on album. Tempo change from mid at the start to faster at the verse is quite effective, and the most important thing about this track is really attractive and interesting guitar melody line in the chorus unlike other tracks on the albums. Bridge part is nothing special but works extremely well for this song. "Hell is Within" is song which has the strongest modern In Flames feeling, generally this track is not bad but is annihilated by boring and very usual melody. Plus the break, closer to an end of the track, doesn`t really fit general atmosphere, cause the feel of intensity gained by the first part of the song is disappeared. "I Can Hear the Dark" is the most progressive song, if you can call it like that. Symphonic instruments, whispered vocals are involved. Not really that great for decision. Generally quite monotonous track with annoying chorus, though it has some nice guitar riffs. "Going Deep" is another highlight of the album. It is fast brutal, though it incorporates some melodic parts, but they don`t harm the song at all. It is really dynamic and interesting song.

The last of the album has only 2 tracks worth of mentioning they are "Deny" and "Way to Shine". "Deny" has unusual for DZ main riff (simple but catchy) and really great solo, but the main downside of the this track is the hole between 2nd chorus and interlude, which brings the feeling of disharmony, otherwise, it is quite good track. Closing track "Way to Shine" also brings some great solo-work and guitar riffs, this track is also differs from previous DZ work, but it is closing track, and generally it sounds really solid. Other tracks, which I didn`t mention, don`t bring anything unique or at least interesting, following the same general formula (practically, all the songs follow it, but some of them have really nice musical editions).

The album has some hurtfull downsides, but the quality of production is really great without any doubt. I don`t have any complaints about the perfomance of DZ members. This record is not really intenssive and creative (diversity in details) compairing with earlier realeses, especially "Silent Night Fever", from the other side it is more melodic and listener-friendly. The thing you will always find in Dimension Zero album is really great guitar parts, but there not so many of themon this record. If you are die-hard dan of ealry DZ stuff there is a big chance you won`t like this record, but for friendly-metal listener this is album is more than ok. The trick about this album, is that this record is a grower one, you need to listen few times to get it. While earlier works more are more straight-forward and catch you from the first seconds of the action.