When you're dealing with extreme metal -- that is, death metal, grindcore, black metal, metalcore and deathcore -- there are different extreme vocal styles to be aware of. Death metal is known for a deep growl, black metal is known for a rasp, and metalcore is known for tortured screaming. One of the noteworthy things about Central Tunnel Eight is the way Sweden's Cipher System combines a death metal/black metal foundation with a metalcore vocal style. Lead singer Daniel Schöldström would be quite appropriate for a metalcore band; he would fit right in if Hatebreed, Every Time I Die, Brick Bath, NDE or Throwdown wanted to feature him. Schöldström, in fact, is so metalcore-sounding that some might conclude that Central Tunnel Eight is metalcore, but take away Schöldström's screaming vocals and you're left with a typical death metal/black metal album. Replace Schöldström's scream with Carcass' death metal growl or Cradle of Filth's black metal rasp, and Central Tunnel Eight wouldn't have any relevance to metalcore. Of course, combining elements of death metal/black metal and metalcore is hardly an unnatural or odd thing to do; after all, death metal, black metal, grindcore and metalcore are all extreme, over-the-top ways to blend metal and punk. And further, it isn't uncommon to find metalcore bands touring with death metal/black metal bands -- there's a lot of common ground, and mosh pit participants who fancy In Aeternum, Triumphator or Cannibal Corpse are also likely to be into Throwdown or Hatebreed. Thus, having metalcore-style vocals is not a liability for Cipher System on Central Tunnel Eight, which falls short of mind-blowing but is a generally decent footnote in the Scandinavian death metal/black metal scene of 2004.
Central Tunnel Eight Review
by Alex Henderson