This Is Hell


Written by: PP on 21/01/2008 02:18:34

When Long Island based hardcore band This Is Hell released their debut album \"Sundowning\" in 2006, the American press reacted with appraisal and the band quickly skyrocketed into success. Features in Kerrang and Alternative Press, critical acclaim from Rock Sound and Metal Hammer were followed by This Is Hell being featured on the front page of, which is quite an unusual honor for a band fronted by a coarsely yelling vocalist. However, the album was never released in Europe until just a few months ago, which brings us to this point where I\'m sitting in my room typing up a review about 30 minutes of solid New York-influenced hardcore.

In a nutshell, \"Sundowning\" is everything you\'d expect from an album claiming to blow fresh air into the hardcore scene. It incorporates the old school hardcore work ethic and ideals with a modern touch. It\'s fiercer, more relentless and more blistering than your 80s hardcore bands, while maintaining a straight forward instrumental delivery without unnecessary gimmicks. The riffs are loud and the songs fire past you like bullets. The fact that there\'s 15 of them on a 30 minute record really tells the story of this record well.

And now to the hard part, convincing you lot why I don\'t think This Is Hell deserves the amount of hype they\'ve been getting in the past two years. You see, where \"Sundowing\" works best, like on \"Here Comes The Rains\", \"Permanence\" and \"The Polygraph Killers\", where there are a few extra melodic hooks or infectious choruses to contrast the coarse yells of vocalist Reilly, This Is Hell comes across as the next Give Up The Ghost, the songs really are that good.

Unfortunately though, there are only a couple of songs on the album that give you that \'wow\' effect, everything else just blends together into a slur. The songs sound awfully similar, with Reilly yelling his throat sick over crunchy chords and melodic interludes. I\'m seven listens in and I still only remember the three aforementioned tracks from the album.

If I was to rate \"Sundowning\" only by its blistering speed or how loud it is, it would indeed score very highly. But for every loud moment and every lightning speed riff, there\'s a moment where I could swear I\'m listening to the same song over and over again. Considering how hardcore is one of my favorite genres and I\'ve pretty much \"seen it all\", that just doesn\'t do it for me. Lets hope that the band has written more \"The Polygraph Cheaters\" and less \"Procession Commence\" on their sophomore, due out next month.


Download: Here Come The Rains, Permanence, The Polygraph Cheaters
For the fans of: Give Up The Ghost, Sinking Ships, Bane
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 29.10.2007
Provided by Target ApS

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