In These Veins

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More than once, the term "death & roll" (meaning death metal meets rock & roll) has been applied to Hearse. That term might sound like a contradiction to some folks; death metal is undeniably a part of rock, but in most cases, it isn't rock & roll (being rock, after all, does not necessarily make one rock & roll). In These Veins, however, really is an example of a death metal album that not only rocks -- it also rolls (at least some of the time). This CD, which was originally released in 2006 and was distributed by Candlelight in the United States in 2007, is best described as death metal with elements of thrash metal/speed metal, punk, hardcore (specifically, old-school '80s hardcore -- not metalcore or screamo), black metal and yes, rock & roll. In These Veins has death metal's crushing brutality, and lead singer Johan Liiva sings with the Cookie Monster growl that death metal is famous for. But this album also has a strong sense of groove, which is something that is missing from a lot of extreme metal (be it death metal, black metal or metalcore). And some of that groove-friendly outlook clearly comes from a healthy appreciation of Motörhead. Hearse is definitely more extreme than Motörhead, but even so, the influence of Lemmy Kilmister and his headbanging colleagues comes through loud and clear on blistering, high-speed tracks such as "Atrocious Recoil," "The Naked Truth," "House of Love," and "Corroding Armour." On metal websites, much has been written about the fact that Liiva was Arch Enemy's lead singer before the band fired him and replaced him with Angela Gossow. But Liiva bounced back, and he is in consistently good for on the brutally engaging In These Veins.

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