No Longer Buried

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Although the Scandinavian countries dominated the death metal/black metal field in the late '90s and early 2000s, the United States dominated another area of extreme metal: metalcore. From Hatebreed to Throwdown to NDE, metalcore was a largely (though not exclusively) American phenomenon during that period. But just as there are American bands with a Nordic-influenced approach to death metal or black metal, there are Scandinavian metalcore bands with a very U.S.-influenced approach. One of them is Sweden's Trendkill, which mines the familiar Hatebreed/Throwdown/Brick Bath waters on No Longer Buried. This 2005 recording is textbook metalcore -- ferocious, violent, angry, caustic, vicious music with screaming, tortured vocals and maximum density. That density gives No Longer Buried a painfully claustrophobic sound, which is exactly what Trendkill (not to be confused with the Norwegian combo Trendkiller) and a long list of similar bands are going for. There are many metal artists who -- for all their intensity and aggression -- give the listener a lot of breathing room, but for outfits like Trendkill, breathing room is not part of the equation. No Longer Buried is the type of CD that suffocates and smothers in addition to beating, pummeling, kicking and lacerating; Trendkill is totally unforgiving when it comes to all-out sensory assault. One thing they aren't is original or distinctive; No Longer Buried, while competent, isn't very memorable and doesn't bring anything new or different to metalcore. Although not in a class with releases by Hatebreed or Throwdown (two of metalcore's finest bands), No Longer Buried is not a bad album; it won't go down in history as incompetent, but it won't go down in history as essential or important either.

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