Released: 2004, Peaceville
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
TERRA INCOGNITO is my first exposure to The Great Deceiver. What first caught my eye was that the legendary Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates, The Crown, Nightrage) is the vocalist and Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad) produced the CD. That’s enough to pique anyone’s interest! TERRA INCOGNITO is the band’s follow-up to their debut CD, 2002’s A VENOM WELL DESIGNED.
Of course there are four other members in The Great Deceiver, but the marquee name is Lindberg. The man almost single-handedly pioneered the “Gothenburg sound” that led to a thousand imitators. His infamous raspy growl is out in full force here, but gone are the Gothenburg-influences. Here we have a mixture of many genres that go above and beyond what I have heard out of him in the past. Hardcore, industrial, even a bit of punk. Of course there are a few speedy, thrashy tracks (“Today,” “We-The Dead,” “From Bereavement To Resignation”) but there are also three dreadful Orgy-like tracks called “Lake of Sulphur, “ “The Heel On The Throat of the Young” and “Worm of Truth.” Besides reeking of nu-metal influence, Lindberg uses clean vocals but they are overly-produced to sound all fuzzy and digitized. Not good. “Faust In Exile” and “Conspiracy Theorist” are mid-tempo songs that blend clean and death vocals properly without all the effects and ARE what we expect from Lindberg. The rest of the tracks are totally forgettable and quite frustrating when you think of the lost potential from the brains behind them.
I was disappointed with TERRA INCOGNITO. Given its pedigree, this should be a heavy, thick and meaty record with powerful vocals and excellent musicianship. Why would Lindberg settle for anything less? Instead, it sounds too slick, watered-down and desperate for the mallcore kids attention for my tastes. Maybe Tomas Lindberg wants to move away from what made him famous in the metal world, but I would suggest checking out his recent work with Nightrage or go all the way back to At The Gates’ SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL. That is the Tomas Lindberg that I know.
KILLER KUTS: “Today,” “From Bereavement To Resignation,” “Conspiracy Theorist”