Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: Dimension Zero - He Who Shall Not Bleed

Band: Dimension Zero
Album: He Who Shall Not Bleed
Year: 2009
Genre: Melodic/Death Metal

Dimension Zero is a Death Metal supergroup of sorts. We have Jesper Stromblad from (now ex)In Flames on lead guitar and bass, Daniel Antonsson who played for both Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity on rhythm guitar, and Joakim Gothberg who at one time did vocals for Marduk on vocals. To round out the group we have Hans Nilsson on drums.

The band comes up with a sound I've really been looking for in Gothenburg. If you were to mix the speed and aggression of At the Gates with the melody that old school In Flames pulled off so well you would have Dimension Zero.

The album starts off with a great song right off the bat, He Who Shall Not Bleed is fast and contains a sweet groove to it. But I especially enjoy the songs where the twin leads are sticking out like a sore thumb. This brings me to my favorite track on the album: I Can Hear The Dark. It starts off with violins in the background while Gothberg speaks a few lines. The music cuts in and you are hit with massive riffs that contain tons of melody. I find the main riff to be addicting myself.

I have to make note of the fact that the band recorded a cover of the Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive. It’s the last track and it makes for a somewhat funny end to the album. Its played at light speed and Hans Nilsson throws in a lot of blast beats to compliment the heaviness. I actually enjoy it quite a bit.

Jocke Gothberg’s vocals are menacing and are far more black metal sounding than death metal with his high pitched throaty growls. There are some lower death growls peppered throughout the album as well.

The guitar riffs are for the most part memorable but there comes to be an issue. If you listen to the intro riff of Deny then skip ahead and do the same to The Was you will notice they are very similar. And that’s a problem throughout the album, some riffs seem to be recycled and reused here and there making you notice that certain guitar parts sound the same. This will probably bother a lot of people but I actually enjoyed the riffs so it wasn't too much of an issue for me. Still I have to deduct points for the lack of creativity here.

Even still it’s a great album, the vocals are ferocious, guitars are well played and melodic yet maintain their heaviness. The drumming is pretty standard. The bass rarely be heard except during breaks and its given a little fill. The production is top notch and you wouldn't be able to tell that it was recorded in 2007 but given a worldwide release of 2009.

He Who Shall Not Bleed is straight up melodeath with a larger focus on speed and “brutality” which is hard to come by these days where most the genre has been flooded by bands playing with a watered down hardcore influence. Props to Dimension Zero for being one of the handful of bands playing true melodic death metal.

Score: 8/10
Standout Track: I Can Hear the Dark

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