Released: 2005, Lifeforce Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
With the metalcore junket in full force, Boston’s Hell Within leapt from one sodden genre (they were originally a nu-metal band called Twytch) to another joining fellow Masschusetts acts like Diecast, Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall on the path blending hardcore with a combination of harsh and clean vocals and metal riffs. Where the above bands were leaders in the metalcore genre, Hell Within is about three years too late and their sophomore album, ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR, is ripe with clichés that numerous other bands looking for success by riding their coattails are facing. Is ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR a bad album? No, in fact it is quite good but it sounds like something God Forbid, Unearth or As I Lay Dying did on their breakthrough albums back in 2002-2003. This is generic metalcore that follows the pattern laid out, raped and plundered into submission by every other band of the genre and it just bleeds into the woodwork.
One thing Hell Within has going for them is an ear for penning melodies and ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR is full of them. Whether it is the Slayer/Iron Maiden-inspired dual lead guitars of Isaias Martinez and Tony Zimmerman or Matt McChesney’s versatile vocals, there are plenty of hooks present to catch the listener’s ear. “Godspeed To Your Deathbed” features tight guitars and powerful drumming from Brian Joyce. The worlds of hardcore and metal join forces here forming an excellent vision of what to expect on the album. Fortunately, McChesney’s vocals never drift towards Atreyu-like emo whining but settle into a comfortable clean vocal croon a la Trivium’s Matt Heafy, while his throat-shredding roars echo those of Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe and get the job done at the other end of the spectrum. “Self-Inflicted Silence,” “Soul Revulsion” and “Swallow The Stitches” dabble in the Swedish guitar melodies of The Haunted and At the Gates but throw in enough moshpit-ready aggression to propel the songs at a hard-driving pace.
What hampers ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR is the generic songwriting and pattern-like structures of the music. With the exception of a few tracks, most blend into one another following a very predictable course that quickly becomes tiresome. On their next album, Hell Within should mature as songwriters but things are pretty basic and uninspired here.
Fuelled by a cocktail of thick double bass, slicing riffs and hard-hitting attitude Hell Within is not without appeal. ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR is a caustic, raging metalcore record that seethes with throaty screams and catchy, hook-filled passages—where have we heard that before? Therein lies the problem. Having heard what must be well over 100 new metalcore albums in the last twelve months alone, things get a bit run-of-the-mill and muddy but to someone less versed in the metalcore swamp, ASYLUM OF THE HUMAN PREDATOR would probably be an enjoyable 40-minute romp.
KILLER KUTS: “Godspeed To Your Deathbed,” “Self-Inflicted Silence,” “Soul Revulsion,” “Swallow The Stitches”