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Lowlife - Trail To Hell (1/10) - Austria - 2007

Genre: Metalcore / Thrash Metal
Label: Heartbeatmedia
Playing time: 13:20
Band homepage: Lowlife

Tracklist:

  1. Anymore
  2. Escape
  3. Empty Words
  4. Stand On My Own
Lowlife - Trail To Hell
It’s unfortunate that Germany’s LOWLIFE feel at unease with the Metalcore tag because it’s unfortunately what happens when you fuse Thrash guitars into Hardcore structures. Flippancy aside “Trail To Hell” is a overtly Metal heavy Metalcore album.
 
Metalcore is what it is boys and that is your shtick.
 
To be fair LOWLIFE have been doing the rounds for over a decade now and were arguably combining Metal and Hardcore before it became flavor of the month. “Trail To Hell” sees the band recording for the first time since a break up that almost buried the Germans and apparently hails a more expansive Metal edge to their Hardcore. Again that would make it Metalcore but I’ll stop it now.
 
Borrowing a guitar sound from SLAYER that never changes and generally Thrashy riffs and riffing structures backed by a dull old school Metal rhythm section, “Trail To Hell” comes across far more Metal than the original members seem to have intended. What also seems prevalent is that LOWLIFE doesn’t seem to be able to write or structure a captivating song.
 
The four tracks roll past and your left feeling what was the point in all that, every track seems to lead nowhere with no variation, I have just this second finished listening to it on its third spin and I was left with only two memories. One, where were the breakdowns? And two, why did it feel like those tracks ended with no kind of resolution?
 
Its not that the music is overtly badly played and the production is top notch, it’s just one of those albums I’m finding hard to be analytical about because it felt so soulless and clinical, even albums that warrant a one out of ten have soul but this EP felt like a band going through the motions and it manifests itself in song structures that go on and on then end and a unstoppable nature in the riffing that’s unusually unappealing.
 
If you like Metalcore that has a real old school edge in the riffing and few breakdowns you might like this. For me there is something entirely jarring about this experience. A bad band feels bad, a good band feels good and even an average band shows potential or general banality but this just does not connect with me at all.       

(Online June 3, 2007)

Richard Williams



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