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Fear My Thoughts: Hell Sweet Hell

Much has been said about Germany's Fear My Thoughts supposed switch from crushing metalcore to a more Swedish melodic death metal sound. Well, believe the rumours, as Hell Sweet Hell is a page out of the At The Gates, Soilwork, In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Darkane, and Nightrage style of Gothenberg metal. Littered with pounding, intricate riffs and catchy lead guitar harmonies, the CD also sees lead singer Mathias Von Ockl developing a solid deep & throaty growl as well as tackling some melodic clean passages with ease, all trademarks of the Swedish bands mentioned above. There are many highlights here, like the rampaging industrial death metal of "Sadist Hour", the venemous energy of "My Delight", or the manic double bass drum mayhem heard on "The Masters Call". It's not until the dreary, doomy, atmospheric tone of the CD's last tune "...Trying to Feel" that you get any change in direction or mood, and that might be the one problem with this CD. Other than this progressive rock styled piece, filled with tortured clean vocals, keyboards and the such, most of this CD plows along at a familiar pace and there is little variety going on, which for many might not really be a bad thing. After a while some of the songs tend to sound the same, but still, there's lots of solid Swedish styled melodic death metal to sink your teeth into, by a German band that has a lot to offer. Check it out.

Track Listing
1) Intro
2) Windows For The Dead
3) In the Hourglass
4) My Delight
5) Sweetest Hell
6) Dying Eyes
7) Sadist Hour
8) The Masters Call
9) Ghosts of Time
10) Satisfaction Guaranteed
11) The Fighting
12) ...Trying to Feel

Added: September 9th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Fear My Thoughts Website
Hits: 3102
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Fear My Thoughts: Hell Sweet Hell
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-09 15:44:47
My Score:

I haven't heard any Fear My Thoughts albums before, but I know this is their fourth album, and by many touted as their heaviest and most 'metal' release. From what I understand, Fear My Thoughts used to be more involved in the metalcore scene, until they decided to bring in more Gothenburg elements, utilising more melodic passages, guitar harmonies, some synths, as well as a thrashier approach for the heavier stuff. Whether they've fully achieved their goal is debatable, however.

It is true that some songs certainly have the fingerprints of Swedish death metal bands like At the Gates and the more technical arangements heard on earlier Darkane discs. "My Delight" and "Sweetest Hell" are both insanely melodic in structure, but at the same time, there is an obvious forced effort on the band's part to inject some truly unnecessary scream vocals in the mix, just to keep true to the Killswitch Engage-type of singing. While the thrashy riffage mixed with speedy drum work on these songs is highly impressive, Matthias von Ockl's vocal style make them a hard listen. Similarly, the more metalcore works on this album, such as "Windows for the Dead", "In the Hourglass" and "Ghosts of Time", are filled with rather bland generic guitar riffs that seem to repeat themselves not only in one tune, but pretty much every other track. Clean vocal harmonies are used to create a more catchy chorus but hardly blend with the intense Gothenburg guitar melodies that are pushed into the song for reasons I don't understand. This just strengthens my opinion that, when writing this album, the band must have been in a huge identity crisis, not knowing whether they should play metalcore or melodic death with nothing new to offer. Some bands just need to realize that the fusion of metalcore and Gothenburg rarely succeeds, mainly because they are entirely different genres with no common ground.

Still there is a good dose of dual harmonic lead guitar work, with interesting stop-start breaks, and the occasional synth line that helps lift the choruses. Sadly, repeated listens only serve to reveal how many recycled riffs and drum fills permeat Fear My Thoughts' songcraft. The only exception is the last song, built around acoustic guitars, entirely clean sung vocals that slighlty border on gothic rock, spoken words, huge keyboard atmospheres that surround the guitar theme, only to be replaced by the initial acoustic melody in the outro. The album was produced by Jacob Hansen known for his great work with Mercenary and Communic.

Fear My Thoughts strikes me as one of those bands you'll hear a couple of times, but will rarely want to go back to their albums. They really have to forge themselves a more defined musical path if they want to survive in a genre with so many metalcore and melodic death bands.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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