From Germany comes this fine unity that bears the name FEAR MY THOUGHTS. This band doesn't play either Thrash or Underground Death Metal. On the back of the promo AT THE GATES, MASTODON, ISIS and RADIOHEAD are named as influences. I don’t know about either ISIS or RADIOHEAD but I hear some of the two other bands on “Hell Sweet Hell”. I’ve never been the biggest AT THE GATES fan but I acknowledge that they’ve made an impact on the Death Metal scene. While we are talking about Death Metal I would like to stress that the Melodic Death Metal tag I put on FEAR MY THOUGHTS should only be taken as a brief description of their music. I’ve learned that “Hell Sweet Hell” are FEAR MY THOUGHTS 4th release, once again this is a new band for me so I can’t tell if they’ve become better or worse over the years. I would take it as a safe bet that they’ve developed a lot since the start, though.
Many Metal heads probably will label the music of FEAR MY THOUGHTS as commercial. The sound quality is top notch, maybe polished but in a good way and the songs are catchy. They use clean vocals, Death growls, Black shrieks and then some. The emphasis is on the two extreme vocals type. The clean vocals are used seldom, but they are good. The best example of good use of clean vocals is the song “In The Hourglass”. “In The Hourglass” is a very good song that sounds a bit like modern IN FLAMES. The biggest difference lies in the quality. Where IN FLAMES sounds uninspired FEAR MY THOUGHTS does not. Why IN FLAMES dropped their guitar solos is more than I understand, take a listen to “Hell Sweet Hell” to understand that guitar solos are as Metal as guitar strings.
Good guitar playing is one of the factors making “Hell Sweet Hell” a very good album. All the vocals are handled very well, the drums are powerful and all the songs are quality ones with some of them reaching a bit higher. “In The Hourglass”, “Sadist Hour” and “The Masters Call” are my personal favourites. There is one song I find to be a bit “weaker” than the other and that is the album closer “…Trying To Feel”. I write weaker with these signs around it, “”, because it could just as well be a matter of personal taste as a drop in quality. I mentioned the production briefly some sentences ago, now I would like to say some more. “Hell Sweet Hell” is evidence that the Danes seriously know how to produce Death Metal orientated music. The Dane responsible this time is Jacob Hansen, a well know producer. Those who are familiar with the band MERCENARY should know what Jacob Hansen are good for.
“Hell Sweet Hell” is a record that has many potential fans in the various Metal camps and even some in the more Core orientated audience. It’s not easy to recommend this kind of music to any specific target group. What’s easy, though, is giving FEAR MY THOUGHTS a recommendation. I mentioned earlier on that FEAR MY THOUGHTS are in danger of being accused for playing commercial music. This is most likely to come from those who listen to underground Black or Death Metal exclusively. They may have a point or two, but at the end of the day FEAR MY THOUGHTS plays music that will have a hard time taking up much radio time, at least on day time. I also have a hard time believing you will see them on a hit list any time soon. A wise man once said that everything is relative, relatively commercial then. (Online November 26, 2005)