Personnel: Billy Blackmon (vocals, guitar, drums); Emil Englund (vocals).
Recording information: Phlat Planet Studios, Gothenburg, Sweden (07/15/2003-07/30/2003).
Photographer: Philip F„ltstr”m.
Arranger: Gadget .
This Swedish band is extremely brutal and almost comical to a certain extent, in terms of its frantic approach. But it seems to work overall to their benefit. From the machine-gun opener "^Still," this dark and punishing album is one quick death metal riff-romp after another. The tandem of Emil Englund and Fredrik Nygren team up for several songs, but "For What Cause" is just as maniacal, as screams and nu metal howls are usurped only by drummer Billy Blackmon's demonic playing. A brief amount of guitar, which sounds like a car changing gears, is the only departure from the constant assault. "Crestfallen" brings the likes of Gwar to mind as Gadget expands on this format. It's also the first time that a slightly lighter melodic approach is used. An early highlight is "Death and Destruction," which seems to be fully fleshed-out despite lasting only a tad more than one minute. Both "Inget Vel" and "The Sentinel' show the band in top and yet tight form, rarely veering from their metal-heavy strengths. Another highlight is "Wake Up the Dead," which crosses metal with an extreme version of hardcore punk and some Metallica-like hues added for good measure. Thankfully, they go for a slower but well-rounded approach in "Failure" and the ghoulish "Incomplete". As the homestretch of the record is reached, Gadget takes more care with the crunchy "Anew" and "Tear You Apart." And the title track, which sounds like a revamped tribute to Iron Maiden, is possibly the album's sleeper track. A softer "Tema:Skit" has the band slowing things down with a more melodic metal framework. ~ Jason MacNeil