Hearse - Armageddon, Mon AmourA very interesting release from the Dutch label Karmageddon Media was donated to my critical listening ear in the shape of Sweden's Hearse. And I must say that I was quite surprised!! So many different styles of music are combined in this band, and they get away with it! Pretty good too, if I say so myself.
They described their style as an embodiment of melodic death, classic metal and hints of a more groovier stoner influence. And I think that that's only the beginning. I've noticed influences from punk, thrash metal, tribal music, nu metal and a lot of experimental stuff. And all that on one album!!
The band is formed around former Arch Enemy vocalist Johan Liiva, who is supposedly called the best voice in metal by some people. I couldn't disagree more, but that's my opinion. Besides a lot of screaming not much variation comes out of the heavy throat of mister Liiva. Most of the time that goes unnoticed, but in 'Turncoat' he just keeps screaming 'missing link' followed by 'incomplete' and that starts to bother me after a while.
The guitars vary from indeed very groovy stoner (which also reminded me a bit of punk) to melodic metal parts. Numerous effects are used on the album, and they reminded me of Korn so much that I had to mention nu metal as an influence for this band. Sometimes the distortion is a bit to melodic for me, like in the start of 'In Love And War'. But don't worry, there's also a very thrash metal kinda riff in it.
The album features a big amount of solo's, which aren't all very appealing. There are definitely some very good ones, but there are others that make me think; why the fuck did you put that on the album?
One funny thing, the track 'Cambodia' which is one of the best on the album, starts with a riff that sounds tremendously like Boney M's Ma Baker'. What a coincidence.
The only thing bothering me when I pay attention to it is the drums. It misses a lot of power and variation. They sound rather soft when compared to the guitars, except for the kickdrum.
In the end, I think that this is a very promising band for the future and I'm looking forward both to hearing their next album and their previous album Dominion Reptilian. I'm also looking forward to seeing them on the mini-tour that hits the Benelux somewhere this year, which also features Dismember, Occult, Callenish Circle, Judgement Day and, of course, Hearse!
1. Mountain Of The Solar Eclipse
3. Crops Of Waste
4. In Love And War
5. Ticket To Devastation
9. Play Without Rules
11. Armageddon Mon Amour
Johan Liiva - vocals/strings
Mattias Ljung - strings/cleaning
Max Thornell - drums/strings