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This Is hell is a follow up to the good debut album by these Swedish guys and it has more or less the same characteristics in sound and style. Once again the violence and the aggression of the typical “new wave” of swedish death metal clashes with a sort of hidden melody. However, the violence and the speed remain the most important elements for a band that doesn’t want to slow down for the entire length of this album. Maybe the only slow song is the introduction with strange noises, distant riffs and a dark voice as a prelude to the massacre of “Dimension Zero”. The blast beats and the up tempo are just relentless and the riffs follow the same schizophrenic style.
The vocals are once again nasty and truly massive, completing a scenario of devastation with an apocalyptic touch. They are in line with the classic “modern swedish death” style and close to the classic shriek but with less black metal long screams. The hint of melody can be found in bigger quantity on the following “Immaculate”, especially on the refrain. The lead guitar is very important to give the right melody and these parts are always really out of the blue in that sea of speed and violence. The filtrated vocals on the following “Blood on the Streets” repeating the song’s title with a cold tonality are very good to fill the atmosphere with darkness and they don’t annoy because they are just for short occasions, always behind the screams.
During this track we go on with violence and speed and we can find less melodic overtures we could enjoy on the previous album. Everything seems more impulsive but fortunately the more melodic lines come again on the “Into and Out Of Subsistence”. The tempo is always fast but the guitars are a sad and more melodic, especially on the solo. There are also clean arpeggios and they are truly depressing. This is easily the best track on this album. “The Final Destination” takes more elements from the thrash metal, especially on some riff sections. Once again, a track like this one points everything on the sheer impact with few breaks. “Amygdala” is more of the same but this time with grooving sections too and the drums syncopations.
Actually, these tracks are good in impact but we can hear fewer ideas if we compare them to the ones on the debut album. We go on with “Killing my Sleep” that can easily be considered the weakest track of the combo because the main riff leads to nowhere in terms of inspiration and at times is even annoying. The rest is quite lame and dull, without the right dosage of melodic overtures. “This Light” continues the road to monotony because it points everything on the sheer impact once again and the structure is so simple…elementary. “Di'I Minores” features even higher dosages of blast beats but we can notice the return of some more melodic sections and this time we can relax for few seconds. The rest is quite derivative and the riffs are something recycled and over listened.
At the end, yes you can say you heard a truly brutal effort but the interesting points are few and concentrated on the first part of this album. “Into and Out Of Subsistence” is the real, small gem of this album but the rest is quite weak. The mark I give can’t be too low because these guys are excellent in precision, technique and style and the production is great but there are also fewer ideas. This album is definitely too much directed on the sheer violence and during those parts they have not the skills to compose stand out tracks.
Dimension Zero is actually carrying tons of potential, just look at the line-up. Last time I heard something from a band that features Jesper Strömblad, I was damn impressed. The problem with “This Is Hell” is that I wasn’t impressed at all. Alright it’s a good album, but it could be so much better. The riffs sound great but they’re not exploited to their full potential. This lack of individuality in the songs does tend to make the CD kind of boring to listen to after a while. The singer is good, the guitars are delivering and the bass and drums are most impressive but, christ, it sounds like they’re not trying hard enough.
Enough bad criticism. On the good side, the whole CD is damn angry and few songs on the album did catch my attention : Blood On The Streets, Amygdala and Killing My Sleep. That’s 3 out of 10. The rest is fine, not great. So,although it’s still better than “Soundtrack to Fuckin’ Mistake”, you might want to listen to this album before buying it.
I bought this CD on pretty much a blind purchase. I had only heard a few 30 second clips from this band, so I didn’t know too much about them when I got this. I was also a little hesitant when I was buying it for two reasons: Number 1: It was used. Somebody obviously didn’t like it. Number 2: The CD cover looks like something I would see on some Atreyu or Avenged Sevenfold album. But I’ve seen a few good CD’s in used bins before, and you can’t judge a book, or in this case, a CD, by its cover so I decided to cough up the $6.00 and try it out.
Well, I could have spent the $6.00 a little better, because this is one of those CD’s I will rarely listen to. It’s just that I’ve heard what is contained on this disk so many times and performed way better by other bands like early At the Gates or The Crown. A lot of the riffs on the CD are pretty cool, but seem to get a little repetitive. Not as repetitive as the drums though, almost EVERY song has the same bass, snare, bass, snare drum beat we hear oh to often in this brand of Swedish trash metal. This beat makes up the verses and choruses of pretty much all the songs, with very few exceptions. The vocals are ok, nothing special, but not bad by any means.
This album could have been good, but with the setbacks it has, it isn’t. If I had it my way, the drumming would vary from song to song and the riffs would differ at least a little bit. Some bands can play clone riffs through a whole CD and it still work out well, but not this time. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and don’t worry about this. Just pop in some of The Crown instead.
This album is the 2nd full release (or 3rd if you count the re-release) of Dimension Zero, a band that should be good, but isn't. They have a friggin' ton of riff potential, I can see that, because these riffs are very well written, and the production is immaculate. However the riffs are repetitive and it is always one or two of the same riffs recycled per song. The drums are TERRIBLE. I don't care what kind of drummer you are, or even if you like this band, this drumming just plain out sucks, and if you don't admit that, you're lying. It's usually the typical "nu-thrash" beat for an entire 4 minute song. The vocals are also horrid. They somewhat resemble an extremely drunk 50 year old man doing karaoke, which leads me to believe that the same stereotypical drunk middle-aged man wrote these terrible lyrics. "Grr, I hate everything, you suck, shut up, etc.". There are a few good points to this album. First of all, the riffs are great. If they threw on some nice points of variation in between riffs, that would be nice, and might raise the score a few points. But overall, they need to get their singer into shape, get better lyrics, and GET A BETTER FUCKING DRUMMER.