Death metal/black metal and metalcore (which is hardcore taken to the extreme) aren't identical twins, but they do have a lot of common ground. Both combine metal and punk (although in different ways), both are known for extreme vocal styles (be it screaming or growling), and both can be loosely described as "mosh music" (that is, music that works well in a mosh pit). Thus, it isn't uncommon for death metal and metalcore bands to appear on the same bill, and it is logical for a death metal/black metal unit like Within Y to offer some acknowledgment of metalcore and hardcore on Extended Mental Dimensions (which is the Swedes' first full-length album). Musically, Within Y isn't unlike countless other death metal/black metal discs that have come from Scandinavia; the tunes are definitely structured like death metal/black metal tunes. But the metalcore/hardcore influence asserts itself the minute lead singer Andreas Solveström opens his mouth. As a rule, death metal/black metal vocalists are growlers rather than screamers -- that is, they sing in a deep, guttural, demonic-sounding growl that conjures up thoughts of all things evil. But instead of growling, Solveström screams in a tortured, metalcore-like fashion -- and his vocals certainly add to the brutality factor. Extended Mental Dimensions is not big on subtlety or nuance; Within Y does have some sense of melody, but ultimately, this CD (which was recorded in 2003) is about sledgehammer ferocity and go-for-the-throat harshness. And while the disc has its limitations -- after the first few tracks, listeners have pretty much heard it all -- it isn't a bad album if one is in the mood for a dose of raw, gut-level bombast. Neither the best nor the worst that death metal/black metal has to offer, Extended Mental Dimensions indicates that Within Y is worth keeping an eye on.
Extended Mental Dimensions Review
by Alex Henderson