This Is Hell


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With all the mucky-muck that passes off as hardcore (pre- or post-, emo, Elmo, or screamo) in the late 2000s, Long Island, NY's This Is Hell actually achieve some distinction through balance, neither confining themselves inside the genre's unbending dull-as-cardboard basics nor losing their cool with gratuitous musical flailing and hysterical vocalizing. Their second album for Trustkill, 2008's Misfortunes doesn't reinvent the wheel by any stretch, but it does improve upon its immediate predecessor on pretty much all fronts: songwriting, execution, righteous fury, and those all-important gang shouts. Whether they're tackling full-throttle mosh-pit instigators like "Reckless" and "Without Closure," indulging in a breakdown or two for "Infected" and "Remnants," or injecting incremental melody into album standouts "Disciples" and "End of an Era," This Is Hell generally keep listeners engaged in areas where most competitors would have them drooling into pillows or tearing their hair out in irritation. OK, so things get progressively less interesting as the album wears on, but Misfortunes still averages out well above This Is Hell's hapless competition, quality-wise, which bodes well both for hardcore fans and the group's imminent future.

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