He Who Shall Not Bleed
Candlelight Productions 2009
Sweden's melodic death metal master's return with their fourth opus of Gothenburg madness. But this time Jesper (In Flames) has focused more on aggression and speed rather than the overflowing melodies that populated his earlier albums. That's not to say there aren't plenty of sweeping melodies to be found. However if you based your impression on the title track which opens the album you'd never know this. It is a caustic brew of speedy death metal with hints of thrash slicing through the rapid-fire drumming. Up next is Unto others which takes a step towards melody but only for an instance on the chorus before the lightning snares and chugging chords end any respite the listener may have temporarily gained. Hell is Within is the album's pinnacle of songwriting with epic melodies, fiery rhythms, and a hooky riff that is completely infectious. I Can Hear the Dark has more in common with Dark Tranquillity than with Jesper's main band In Flames. The riffs are harsher and the melodies don't drown the entire song yet are still the main focus of the song. Later in the album Way to Shine makes an appearance with goth vocals and a more moody approach. Plus there is a terrible yet somewhat fun cover of Stayin' Alive. Overall this to me is Dimension Zeros most aggressive and violent album. With that said, this is still pretty standard Gothenburg fare executed by one of the scene's founders. So it is well written, tight, and melodic though ultimately it offers nothing too groundbreaking. But if you are listening to Dimension Zero I assume that is not what you are after. And as such you will be well rewarded.