Transport League

Superevil

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Something about Sweden has been breeding various kinds of brutal metal bands for over a decade, beginning with the likes of Entombed. Initially a side project of B-Thong's Tony Jelencovich, Transport League is among the wave of late-'90s aggro-metal that, had it been released a few years later, could have benefited from the success of bands who brought the genre to mainstream rock radio (Static-X, Powerman 5000, Disturbed, System of a Down, etc.). Middle-Eastern musical themes appear occasionally, but are quickly pummeled by crunchy barre chords and throat-shredding vocals reminiscent of a slightly more melodic Tom Araya. Guitar solos abound, but they generally feel overly restrained, focusing on thick, almost industrial riffs rather than real fretboard wizardry. Well produced, the album feels almost too polished, taking away from the dark air it seems to be working so hard to create. Superevil is peppered with images of ravens and mantras that make it seem likely that the boys spent their formative years playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to '70s guitar rock (and quite a bit of '80s metal as well). The album-opener "Lost in the Desert of Habib" paints a cobweb-covered portrait of vampirism that works in references to Drakinos Drakul and lyrics like "the pure religion of flesh eating demons." This is the sort of thing that awkward 14-year-old boys write in study hall. A lot of the lyrics don't really make any sense; lines like "Heal me/Re-enter my termination" (from "Jesus Came") point to the fact that English is their second language. While in this genre the lyrics aren't usually the focal point, with a lyric sheet provided it's hard not to read along and chuckle. While they may be superevil, in the liner notes Transport League encourages their fans to get involved with organizations like Greenpeace and PeTA. Finally, socially conscious death metal -- take that Covenant.

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