Exit to Transfer

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Exit to Transfer is basically a European take on contemporary alt-metal/metalcore, coming from a different background, but still powerful as hell. Any tune off the Swedes' sophomore effort would fit squarely on rock radio next to Sevendust, sharing the same dark atmosphere, the mighty (if slightly nasal) roar, chugging simple riffs, a bouncy bass drum, angsty lyrical formulas ("Like dominoes we fall"), and, well, nothing else; at least, nothing that isn't mandatory. But while funky grooves are part of the heritage of Anglo-American bands of this ilk, Corroded draw more on the straightforward, heavy rock of the last three decades, from W.A.S.P. to In Flames. This means they're not that much into start-stop riffing (though they pull it off splendidly on "The One"), and instead, sound at times like an updated version of the old school -- think maybe a very grim, angry, and focused Van Halen circa Balance. They can't avoid the thrash vibe, either, and use it to their own ends, like vintage Iced Earth; it's still melodic music, it's just really oppressive, with bottom-heavy riffs punctuated by staccato drumming to create vague images of wars, economic recessions, breakups, and other calamities that the band stubbornly plows through, never losing the threads of the songs. It doesn't hurt, either, that the songs are just plain good; they're catchy and laconic almost like Nickelback, but nowhere near as mindless. Granted, no variety is offered beside the subtle shifts from reserved metal gloom to the (ironically) larger-than-life chorus of "Dead on Arrival," but there are far worse ways to spend 40 minutes than listening to a set of prime-quality riffage.

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