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Die Hard - Nihilistic Vision (7/10) - Sweden - 2009

Genre: Death Metal / Thrash Metal
Label: Agonia Records
Playing time: 40:37
Band homepage: Die Hard

Tracklist:

  1. Into The Desolate Halls Of Death
  2. Hidden Face
  3. Bloody War
  4. Nihilistic Vision
  5. Fed To The Lions
  6. Mercenaries Of Hell
  7. Ride The Incubus
  8. I Am Possessed
  9. Attack From The Back
  10. Death Chasing The Flock Of Mortals

DIE HARD performs Thrashing Death Metal, akin to the likes of CELTIC FROST, SLAYER and METALLICA. Now, unfortunately, this unholy marriage has produced the debut, "Nihilistic Vision", that is not as good as something either of the latter could do, but it shows promise. The album is a catchy, War Metal masterpiece, but has a few flaws. The vocals, for one, are the most annoying part. They howl and gnash but don't really leave a mark on the listener. The music is fast and crunching, but doesn't bring anything inspirational. Starting from the opening track, the album gives itself away as a speeding, helter skelter piece of music. At first it seems all over the place, save for the vocals, which are on track, but seem out of place as they bark along with the music. The music is energizing, yes, and sure to be a great mosh pit concert venue, but that's about it. Catchy and rifftastic is all that DIE HARD really has to give with their debut. That's not to say that the album doesn't have its perks. "Bloody War" is a GREAT War Metal track that will just have the masses going crazy. If there was ever any song that was a good crowd motivator, this is it. The solos are spastic, the riffs just pure adrenaline, and the chorus chanting is more than enough to get anyone going. If only there were more tracks like this on the album...

Sadly, the rest of the album is mostly just run of the mill Thrash Metal fodder. Tracks go by and all that's left to really say is, "Meh... that was just OK." "Mercenaries Of Hell" seems like a promising track with its chugging introductory riff for variation, but then things fall back into formula and you get the track you heard five minutes ago. "Ride The Incubus" is a twisted little Rock number with a female orgasm sample; good effect, but for some reason it still feels out of place. If this was Black Metal based on a demon orgy, then sure it would be right at home. But, somehow, on a Thrash Metal album, it just doesn't seem to fit. The vocal work here isn't as annoying, however; there's even a great moment where he lets his voice hang a moment with a sort of reverberated scream. "I Am Possessed" howls VENOM worship, which is pretty cool because the DIE HARD almost sounds like VENOM at times with their riffs and solo work. This is understandable because, after all, the band notes that they took their name from a VENOM song. "Attack From The Back" is sort of a filler; it's quick, uimpressionable, and maybe a moment's enjoyment. "Death Chasing..." is one of the better tracks, and a good note to end on. It's not all about full, Thrashing fury, but sacrifices speed for catchiness that more has more of a Hard Rock flavor. There's a lot of repeated riffs here, but it's the kind of riffs fans will probably enjoy. Don't worry, there's still a great ripping solo near the end.

DIE HARD on on the right track, they just need to add more variation to their music and keep true to their energy. The band has excellent potential and if they direct their talents in the right direction they could be monstrous. The riffs are great, especially on the last track, and anyone who has a love for Thrash (and can stand the vocals) will probably want to give this a go. It may not be legendary, but it isn't something to be forgotten either.

(Online March 20, 2010)

Colin McNamara



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