"Hell Sweet Hell" (Lifeforce; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

One of the more noticeable trends lately (to my eyes and ears anyway) is the plethora of heavy metal bands eschewing the rise of metalcore and focusing their attention on drawing inspiration from the early days of renewed heavy metal efforts. One of the bands most copied is Swedish metal innovators At The Gates. Typically, however, the bands copying these Swedish greats tend to be American and/or originally based in the hardcore style.

Fear My Thoughts, hailing from Germany, have just released their fourth full-length CD and second for Lifeforce Records, “Hell Sweet Hell.” From all appearances and sonic territory traversed on “Hell Sweet Hell” Fear My Thoughts are well-schooled in the At The Gates blueprint from the standpoint of constant aggression and a seemingly endless well of energy. To boot, I hear very little in the way that would suggest the band’s prior incarnations were more informed by hardcore than Euro-melodeath. Indeed, the band does not forsake melody. Metallic and melodic sounds made popular by In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, and Darkane are part of Fear My Thoughts delivery. The band aptly includes these melodic touches and instrumental flourishes in a much more accomplished manner than some of their young peers.

The vocals never stray too far from raspy growls made by the Swedish titans – and when they do it gravitates toward Anders Friden’s more recent efforts and Bjorn Strid’s alternating raspy/clean shouts.

Fear My Thought’s “Hell Sweet Hell” is an impressive effort. The band managed to escape my radar in the past, but “Hell Sweet Hell” is catchy and thorough update on the melodic death metal style that had seemed to run out steam lately.

“Hell Sweet Hell” was produced, engineered, and mixed by Jacob Hansen and Fear My Thoughts.

Fear My Thoughts: Mathias von Ocki on vocals, Markus Ruf and Patrick Hagmann on guitars, Bartosz Wojciechowski on bass, and Norman Lonhard on drums.

For more information visit http://www.fearmythoughts.com

"The Great Collapse" (Lifeforce; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

You may think from this band's name that they're some alternative screamo band or something. Such is not the case. Fear My Thoughts' "The Great Collapse" is a strong collection of metalcore (with a dash of death metal thrown in) that is hard and fast enough to please hardcore fans and accessible enough to appeal to those with less than extreme tastes.

The CD begins with the brief but haunting instrumental, "Velvet" and then dissolves immediately into the heavy stuff, delivering chunky guitars, growling vocals and an irresistible driving sound that smartly takes its time to shift into high gear. From that point on, "The Great Collapse" rages onward, delivering track after track of jackhammer-solid metalcore. 

The highlights are the first two tracks (which really count as one, as they morph together brilliantly), the almost Maiden-esque "Sirens," and the slick, fast "Mission Immortality."

"The Great Collapse" is metalcore at its best. The CD's amazing ability to appeal a larger listening audience - without alienating stubborn genre fans - should continue to guarantee the German band the same level of success they've enjoyed since they began in 1998.

For more information, check out http://www.fearmythoughts.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:21 -0400.