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December 2010
Released: 2010, Tractor Productions/Sound Pollution
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Robert Williams

Despite are a five piece melodic death metal outfit hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden with one previous full length album under their belts. The band is made up of members of underground bands such as Decameron, Cardinal Sin, Runemagick, Marionette, and Ingnis.

CLENCHED the second album from these Swedes, opens with the extremely abrasive track "Scars". Throaty hardcore influenced vocals and thrashing polka-beat drums give way to halftime breakdown bits and blasting fills. The guitars and bass take the backseat in a mix mostly dominated by vocals and drums. "Crushing The World" demonstrates the near mechanical mastery of stop-start tempo shifts displayed by drummer Oskar Nilsson. This track is more at home with the melo-death tag than the album's opener. "All The Eights" is a ten-ton hammer hitting an anvil. Downtuned guitars and slower to mid tempos make for an enjoyable exercise in modern metal soundscapes. Lead guitarist Timmy Leng also shines with a nice solo.

"Bruised Machines" is a whiplash inducing headbanger of an asskicker filled with some excellent palm-muted riffing and some nice cymbal accents and fills. The title track on CLENCHED has sort of a jumpy mid-nineties influence, at least to these ears and has one of those stupid megaphone sections that I'm guessing was the producers ill fated idea. Probably not the strongest tracks on offer.

When reviewing metalcore or melo-death, I always find it necessary to mention this really isn't my cup of tea. Having said that, I can't dock points based on my own personal taste. These guys do a decent job at what they do and demonstrate proficient musical ability and solid hooks. To my ears, there really isn't much that differentiates them from the rest of the pack that perform this kind of stuff, but if this kind of music is your thing, Clenched is probably a safe bet.
Track Listing

1. Scars
2. Commander of Hate
3. Crushing The World
4. All The Eights
5. ...of The End
6. Bruised Machines
7. God of Flies
8. Clenched
9. Creed of Sin
10. The Cause and Solution To All Problems


Alex Losb├Ąck - Vocals
Timmy Leng - Lead Guitar
Johan Sporre - Guitar
Fredrik Meister - Bass
Oskar Nilsson - Drums

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» Clenched
by Robert Williams

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