It's round two for these Swedish melodic Death Metallers. Comprised of members of THEORY IN PRACTICE, CARNAL FORGE/CENTINEX and TORCHBEARER, these guys continue to lay down the melodies and then some. Their debut offering wasn't bad, it was catchy and memorable, but this time out, they really up the ante.
I was shocked by what I heard on "The Illusionist." What I was treated to was not only semi technical musicianship laced with infectious hooks and melodies along with killer solos, but there was an electronic vibe added to the mix. The vocals that Christian throws out are amazing. First, he's guttural as hell, a lot deeper than his first offering, I was surprised at how low they went, because they almost sound like Gore Metal. Then, he flips the switch and goes for the cleans especially during the choruses. What is impressive is that he goes for the AOR style. They are dramatic, catchy as sin and mighty. The true Thrashers may be put off by this, but I'm not.
"Slaves To The Subliminal" continues with its winning ways of crunchy, but clean guitar riffing. The drumming on here is superb. The striking of the skins is crisp, clear and tight. The vocals fluctuate back and forth as well once again which is fine, but I get irritated after a while by the deathly growls. I would almost prefer the cleans to this, but what can I do. As musicians, everyone abuses their instruments with the greatest of ease, but at the same time know what they are doing.
I think this is the heavier version of CHILDREN OF IN FLAMES all around. This will appeal to many folks that enjoy the bands that I just mentioned. Chris' singing when it's clear is awesome. I would preferred it to be all clean and clear, but that's my opinion. Good offering though that will have you spinning this for a while. (Online August 18, 2006)