This Is Hell

Weight Of The World

Written by: PP on 02/08/2010 04:01:17

Long Island hardcore unit This Is Hell have been consistently tearing people's eardrums for six years now. They are renowned for an intensity unmatched by the rest of the hardcore scene (especially since American Nightmare are no more), because every track ever recorded by these guys makes you feel like a freight train just paid your eardrums a brief but effective visit. It's their frighteningly fiery, take-no-prisoners approach to writing brutally aggressive hardcore / hardcore punk that makes so many people like them, for it can't be because of their songwriting, considering how they have so few stand out tracks and so many that feel like you've been gang raped by a bunch of trucks that have shredders for wheels. Ouch. Yet they stand as an example for many, for example the Fredericia hardcore scene, because This Is Hell have made playing monotone hardcore into an art form. This is how you can play it, have circle pits, and still sound good while you're at it, kids. Try hardcore dancing to this, motherfuckers. You can't; this is real hardcore.

"Weight Of The World" is their third full length album, and it's being released by none other than the scenecore label Rise Records. No clue why they're putting this one out, but kudos for branching out for once. Anyway, if you've been following This Is Hell since the beginning of their career, no need to fret, this record offers more of the same, except in a slightly improved form. In fact, it'd be correct to call it their most accomplished album to date, even if it's just small improvements from 2008's "Misfortunes". But then again, this band is also renowned for their babysteps-like approach to improving as a band. Why change a bone-crushing formula that has your fanbase growing slowly, but surely?

The nominal changes you'll notice are a couple of metallic solos that have been written in to attract people outside of hardcore to the band as well. Case in point, a thrash metal solo in "Eagle Of Justice" and a screeching one in "The Search", despite the latter being a breakneck speed hardcore punk track. Just as expected, breakneck speed is the theme of the record; if there ever was an album worthy of that description, then "Weight Of The World" would be it. The same formula can be applied to the words "intense", "in your face", "aggressive" and so on and so on. The point is, This Is Hell keeps pounding at you until you're down, and if you dare to even lift a finger afterward, they return with twice the force. Vocalist Travis Reilly's coarse yell alone makes that clear.

The guitars are tight, the intensity level is sky high throughout, and the guitarists are able to write solid, memorable riffs when need be. So why isn't "Weight Of The World" better album than it is? The answer lies within melody, or rather, the lack thereof. Last album "Misfortunes" had its "Discipline" and "End Of An Era" that leaned into melodic hardcore in the vein of Capital, debut album "Sundowning" had "The Polygraph Cheaters", "Permanence" and "Here Come The Rains" that injected just a little bit of melody into their otherwise unmelodic aggro-hardcore. "Weight Of The World" has only "Snake Eyes", and that's track 13 out of 13 on the disc. The riffs alone lift the record above so many contemporaries, but I for one am left longing for just a liiiiiittle bit melody into the band's expression, and then they'd be truly, truly awesome. As it stands now, they're just good, but definitely the best monotone hardcore band around.


Download: Snake Eyes, No One Leaves Unscathed, This Night The Line Was Crossed
For the fans of: American Nightmare/Give Up The Ghost, Bane, A Girl A Ghost A Gun
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2010
Rise Records

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