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Brutal, fast and pounding...but then? - 77%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, December 28th, 2008

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.