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Jesper Strömblads alter ego returns - 69%

jesusatan, June 4th, 2008

Yeah, this is pretty much where the aggression that once fueled In Flames has been residing since the end of the nineties. If you are a fan of that band, and for whatever reason think they've sold out (very likely), I highly recommend listening to this band. They aren't necessarily breaking any new ground, but what they are doing is cranking out solid melodic death metal when most of the core Swedish bands have alter their sound to a point of self parody. Maybe they got annoyed when the American scene viciously raped the corpse of At the Gates, which was still warm and appealing to the modern day vultures dominating American metal.

I am doubtful that Dimension Zero will succeed in making a record as good as Silent Night Fever in the future, but this album definitely has it's moments of solid melodic death riffage. Unto Others is a solid offering, as well as I Can Hear the Dark if you can get by the stupid lyrics. I haven't been a fan of the lyrics in this band since the first album, but I really don't even listen to what he's screaming about other than in the chorus when they are pushed to the front of the mix. Most of these songs are pretty much alternating pummeling riffs, which is exactly what they were going for I'd say. A lot of people slam Dimension Zero for the repetitive drumming, but I'd say it's no more than is required for these kind of songs. Anything more varied would take away from what the album is about, which is the riffs and melodies. This a guitar driven band in every sense.

Most are good aggressive tracks, but the real winner here is the closing track. Not the stupid Beegees cover, but Way to Shine. Here we have some tasteful melodies leading into a brief break, which sets up a good build for a solid epic tune. The attempt at clean vocals is a bit awkward, but is forgiven due to the conviction of the music. It's brief, and gives way to a more aggressive, memorable melody. Towards the end it starts to kick supreme amounts of ass, as the guitarists actually bust out some ripping leads, Something that is absent in most of Dimension Zero's catalog thus far, except for the first EP. The short shred fest is tasteful and flows very well back into the chorus for a last kick before the stupid Beegees tune, which I never stick around for.

Chances are if you like Melodic Death, and I know that are some that still do, you will dig this album for the most part. And if you haven't heard the debut Silent Night Fever, definitely pick that up, as I feel it is a more apt demonstration of what this band was created for. When all is said and done, this band is the salvation that many fans of In Flames have most likely been seeking. Yes, Jesper does still like to write good riffs with a vocalist who doesn't steal all the emphasis, and completely contort the sound of the band as a whole.