Dimension Zero

This Is Hell

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Dimension Zero carries the considerable weight of having In Flames guitarist Jesper Stromblad on board (albeit playing bass), here teamed up with ex-In Flames six-stringer Glenn Ljungstrom, as well as former Marduk vocalist Jocke Gothberg -- hence the band's status as a "supergroup" in the Swedish death metal scene. Second full-length This is Hell (the band's initial output being the EP Penetrations from the Lost World) finds the group in plug-in-and-thrash mode -- much more aggressive than the increasingly expansive palette of In Flames' work in the '00s, but still not afraid to toss in snatches of frosty Swedish melody amidst hyperkinetic blastbeats and Gothberg's demonic rasp. Occasionally, a shout-along chorus leaps out of the fray ("Dimension Zero," "Immaculate"), but songs are dominated mostly by the busy, almost relentless, guitar work with fretboard technicians Ljungstrom and Daniel Antonsson nimbly -- and impressively -- shredding through each track with skill and expertise. If there's any complaint with the album, it's that individual songs are sometimes lost in the blurry death-thrash onslaught, which may be too caffeinated for its own good. Otherwise, This is Hell is a well-executed -- if not necessarily essential -- Swedish death metal exercise that shouldn't disappoint fans of the genre.

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