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July 2002
Released: 2001, Listenable Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen

When walking around the festival area of the SwedenRock event I accidentally ended up to a tent having several tables of several Swedish record labels and other distributors. For some weird reason I started talking to the manager of Reclusion, of course I had heard about the band and apparently some material, but couldn’t recall at that point. Their manager kindly gave me a copy of the latest Reclusion CD SHELL OF PAIN and asked me to check out the band in the live situation. But unfortunately the band’s, being the one and only extreme metal band on the festival bill by the way, appearance didn’t get me that much convinced as in my opinion they should have played some indoor place in the front of the raging audience.

But as for the cd then. The first surprising thing about SHELL OF PAIN which I later discovered after getting the CD the whole output had been carried out in the Los Angered studio run by the King Diamond axeman Andy La Rocque meaning the sound quality has been taken to the brilliant level of the extremity and they definitely were indeed. The modernized thrash metal roaring out of the moniker had an intense and tight grip without loosing any touch during the 41 min running time. While listening for the CD I only wondered why the band didn't sound so aggressive and tight on stage as on the album SHELL OF PAIN. As for the previously mentioned thrash metal and the band’s stuff in general; the material on the CD is based on aggressive thrash metal riffs, not sounding old school, just on the contrary, the SHELL OF PAIN stuff has been taken and updated to the attitude style of the present day which doesn’t sound that boring, just damn brutal and aggressive indeed. But Reclusion hasn’t ventured into the shameful direction like the most of the leading bands of that genre, by adding some mallcore references.

I can’t help mentioning the opening tune “Shelter From Pain.” It’s a real neck breaking thrash oriented head banging track with the vocalist’s raw, dry and a little bit nihilistic approach which could be compared to a hybrid mix of Pro-Pain vocalist with Skinlab’s frontman. Of course the whole album doesn’t represent the full ultimate speed through, since a lot of brutal groove parts belong to the soundworld on SHELL OF PAIN.

A highly recommended output for anyone digging brutal aggressive metal with some attitude elements.
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