Released: 2013, Pulverized Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Swedish death metal is something I have been interested in, but not impressed by, for years. I've been waiting for something good to come out of the genre for the same amount of time. It seems that any band that's from Sweden that call themselves death metal totally miss the point and do something else. Like ‘In Flames’ with their weird electronic tendencies and underwhelming albums. These guys bring something different to the table, so let's dive in and take a listen.
The first track is an instrumental introduction, I appreciate intros to albums, they endeavour to set the mood nicely and give you a hint of what's to come. I Like it so far. The riffs are excellent, let me tell you. Brutal in their approach and performed masterfully, absolutely riveting stuff. The guitar tone is somewhat lacking something though. It feels almost like a ghost of a guitar, it's weird and takes away from the album.
The song writing/structure on some of the songs is confusing and it seems that there lacks direction and cohesion, especially in track 2 when the hip hop synth comes in and just…sounds weird. It doesn't belong here; it changes the mood from ghostly death-like metal to... well I don't know but it ain't good.
I know they're meant to be "Sci-Fi deathgrind" (sub genres ftw!) but it just doesn't work so well. The track quickly redeems itself after the synth part with a nice breakdown that is just a joy to listen to. Lots of the songs sound almost the same; I have trouble telling which song is which, lots of riffing and single note leads with crappy synth over the top in parts. The vocals are what you'd expect from Swedish death metal, grating soulless monotone screaming. Can't hear what's being said and it feels unemotional.
According to the info I was sent, the production is "huge." I disagree; everything blends into one another like a mess of crayons being left in the sun for hours. The drums sounds overproduced, like a drum machine- plastic and fake. The guitars lack any edge, and definition and the bass is also definiteness and altogether a bore. The vocals sit in there, not getting in the way of the other instruments but without balls, no power, too quiet. The synths are just out of place all the time.
At the halfway point of listening to the album I'm starting to get tired of it. There's very little variation on the theme. There are certain passages that really make you stop and think "This is AWESOME!" But it's not enough to have 20 seconds of an album be great, and the rest of the time boring and lifeless. The start of Dim-out sounds like it was played out of time with itself, confusing kick drums and riffs together.
All in all, it's a confusing album. I want to like it, as all the elements are there to make me like it, heavy guitars, bass, double kicks, precise execution of parts, screamed vocals, synths mixed in... but it just fails to deliver on every count. I think mostly due to the mix and production of the album. It was apparently recorded in many places and mixed by a few different people so there's small wonder why it turned out this way.
If you're into soulless sounding metal that is boring, this is for you.
Review by Kyle Sevenoaks