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Worth checking out. - 85%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, January 10th, 2009

Here we go again with the third Dimension Zero album. This Is Hell was archived as a sort of a small but audible downfall in terms of songwriting and inspiration. You know, when the style gets too brutal and fast, it’s hard to combine it with the melody. The debut was very good from this point of view and this new album is a bit more bound to the past, with the entering of the melodies once more. We begin with the production that is always incredibly pounding and massive, while the style of the band has remained the same, so expect more of the classic death/thrash metal in Swedish way.

At The Gates plays an important role here and we can already notice it on the blasting fury of the opener. Surprisingly, there are some riffs that are more oriented towards some kinds of hardcore patterns. However, the rest is pure brutality and the following “Unto Others” finally displays more melodies and less will to destroy everything. The vocals this time are even more black metal oriented because the shrieks are even nastier, if compared to the recent past. “A Paler Shade of White (A Darker Side of Black)” mixes in a quite good way the more melodic guitars lines during the chorus with the unmatchable heaviness of the verses. There are also some blast beats spread all around but the main tempo is the up one.

“Hell Is Within” features some more “modern” melodies. The riffs take lots of influences form the modern way of playing extreme with some stop and go and the more melodic overtures. The viciousness always lies on the fast palm muting and the screams. “Red Dead Heat” is a very short track with some more modern elements on some riffs, especially on the mid-paced sections. The rest is for the up tempo and the blast beats. The vocals here turn to be more in growl style but the screamed tonality is always present. So far the tracks are nothing spectacular but they are decent. The introduction of some new elements can be seen in two ways: some may think it’s a risky attempt and they failed but I believe it’s a quite good choice to give new blood to a sound that risks being stagnant.

“I Can Hear the Dark” has definitely more melodies inside, starting from the violoncello introduction and passing through the very good lead lines duets. On this song the bass is more audible because the guitars are less impulsive during those duets and they let emerge the four chords. With “Going Deep” we go back to a sort of primordial impulsiveness. The riffs are more pissed off and the drumming is really relentless. However, we can always notice a hint of melody for the soloing. “Is” has a different approach to the riffs on the first part but soon we return to “normality” with massive mid-paced sections and a more melodic verse with a sad chorus. Finally with “Deny” we can hear some good fast paced double kick parts and more melodies.

“The Was” is actually very good in combining once again out of the blue melodic overtures and the more canonical death metal touches. “Way to Shine” is the song that features the highest level of melody because there are also some good arpeggios breaks in which the vocals are just whispered and truly sad. This is the most melodic death metal oriented track here and I like it even if it’s like the rest of the album, good but nothing outstanding. If we forget the hilarious Bee Gees cover, this is an album to check out if you love the melody that comes hand in hand with the brutality. A quite pleasant surprise after the shabby This Is Hell.