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Solution 13: Chapters From Private Hell

Finnish groove metal/rock band Solution 13 are a veteran act that started out in 2000 but went on hiatus for 17 years starting in 2003 after releasing a single self-titled album in 2002. After a good couple of spins of their new release since reforming in 2020, Chapters From Private Hell, I would have preferred they stayed on hiatus and maybe decided to pursue other avenues to let their creative juices flow.

CFPH is some sort of twisted chimera of radio hard rock (red state rock, butt rock, a rose by any other name...) and Pantera inspired groove metal that just doesn't ever truly take off. The reasons are many, but chief among them is vocalist Ilkka Järvenpää, who sounds like a parody of a biker bar house band singer that eats broken glass and drinks gasoline between takes. His voice is comically gritty and tuneless most of the time, and it evokes headshakes and disbelief alike. Somehow, someway, he's actually not the worst vocalist to appear here. The guest female vocalist on "What I Need" sounds like she's trying to sing while tumbling down a cliff made of very sharp rocks. It would almost be amusing if I wasn't actually trying to be objective.

As far as the positives go, the previously mentioned "What I Need" does actually feature some pretty cool harmonized guitars that will immediately remind you of Clayman-era In Flames, if you are into that kind of stuff (I am!). They don't last nearly long enough and apparently our guest vocalist wasn't too happy about that and threw herself off the cliff in defiance. The core sound of Solution 13 is so stock and lifeless that the best parts here are when they avoid sounding like Solution 13. The subtle jaunts of the acoustic guitars ("Tortured Son") and melodeath leads from time to time are brief moments of respite in a true slog of an album that brings damn near nothing of value to fans of Metal and Hard Rock alike.

I can't say I'd recommend CFPH to anyone, really. From the incredibly subpar vocals to the generic groove and bounce from track to track, you are much better off just blasting... well... anything else. A courtesy half-point due to the Gothenburg-isms sprinkled here and there. Avoid.

1. My Private Hell
2. When the Night Falls Down
3. Sweet Surrender
4. Never Unbroken
5. My Civil War
6. I Don't Believe in Miracles
7. Storm
8. Tortured Son
9. What I Need
10. Turn to Dust

Added: May 5th 2022
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 424
Language: english

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