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Those Swedes, eh? Say what you want about pretty much everything about this population, but when it comes to music, the nation itself plays a big role in the metal community, and has spat out some very fascinating releases. Sometimes in the form of major juggernauts which rocks the whole world, and other times, such as this, as average outlettings which doesn’t really shake the listener, but offers something to keep the target group listening.
The gothenburg-y elements mixed with fast, violent components once again manages to sound “okay”. Dimension Zero has always delivered this type of melody, and it looks as if they’ll keep going for some time yet. Although I haven’t appreciated the bands music before (except for one or two songs), I’ve always had that feeling that someday they’ll release something worth listening to. For starters, this album is not bad. There’s a quite logical explanation for that; the music is not as repetitive this time around. Sadly, “not as repetitive” does not translate to “unique”. It’s not exceptional in any way, and works similarly as watching a mediocre tv show just to kill time, and suddenly you find yourself stuck in it. The guitars present their usual “trr-trr”-riffing style, BUT, when they once in a while slow down a bit it works very well. When “Unto Others” (At the gates, anyone?) starts, they enter midtempo mode, and while the few seconds of it pass, you feel rather proud of the band. I wish they’d do this more often, since it blends into the raging speed parts flawlessly. Oh, speaking of raging parts, I really must mention their cover of “Staying Alive”. They’ve tripled the speed, the excitement and made a worn-out “classic” work again. This shows quality musicianship. The musicians involved in this band are professionals, and know what they’re doing, so you won’t precisely hear anything even related to substandard music. Except for the drums, that is.
While the music itself may not be frequently repeating itself, the drumming sure does. Why, oh why, can’t all metal drummers throw in a little bit of variation once in a while with some fills, or at least change from ride to hi-hat in blastbeats? It’s just so damn recognizable it hurts. Pretty soon it all transforms into a big mush, and you stop concentrating on the beat.
The vocals are your usual shrieks and growls as well. They tend to not stand out, but generally rather stay in the background. Jocke Göthberg has a admirable history behind him, but these days he’s “just one of many” vocalists, and doesn’t break new ground in any way here.
Since day one when Dimension Zero was created, the nowadays five Swedes have played fast melodic thrash metal. Over the course of twelve years, the formula has not changed a bit, and hardly won’t in potential future releases either, I think. If you’re a fan of this band from before, you’ll probably like this. It has its golden moments. Most importantly; if you can’t tolerate gothenburg-influenced metal, you won’t like this at all.
Fans of the genre should check out the following tracks:
“He who shall not bleed”, “Unto others”, “Deny” & “Staying Alive”