F U L L . R E V I E W S



Hearse
In These Veins

Company: Dental Records
Release: 2006
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Traditional
Rating
3



  • Does tend to languish in its songwriting, despite the zest of its performance



  • Although Hearse features Johan Liiva (ex-Arch Enemy) on vocals, the trio's latest, 'In These Veins', shares little with Liiva's work on 'Stigmata' or other albums released during the formative years of Swedish melodic death. Instead, Hearse's take on metal is much more devil-may-care, with two fistfuls of pentatonic blues soloing, straightforward drumming with plenty of cymbal splashes, and of course, Liiva to lead the way down "Route 66", upon which the band evidently gets its kicks.

    For those who know Liiva only from Arch Enemy, it's worth noting off the bat that he is a much more accomplished growler today. Rather than the half-grunt, half-bellow from the old days, Liiva employs a rugged growl that is as expressive and dynamic as his old style without as many of the polarizing side effects. He scatters in some significantly different accents throughout the album, such as whispers or shouts, but aside from the jarring 'Intoxication', these are easily taken in stride.

    Were it not for Liiva's past associations, the first thoughts on 'In These Veins' would undoubtedly concern guitarist Mattias Ljung, whose strong voicings are at the center of Hearse's rock 'n' roll spirit. As the sole guitarist in the trio, Ljung is particularly valuable for how well he differentiates his driving rhythm riffing from his melodic, vintage approach to soloing. Both are competently handled, giving 'In These Veins' a strongly guitar-centric nature without fetishizing the instrument's extremes, as metal often tends to do.

    However, 'In These Veins' does tend to languish in its songwriting, despite the zest of its performance, and is memorable more for its repetitiveness than its superior quality. Choruses tend to be simplistic and to reappear excessively, as do their respective bridges, and riffs that were fun for a few repetitions begin to wear. Still, Hearse is altogether a respectable vehicle for Liiva, post Arch Enemy, and a worthy showcase of his bandmates' significant talents. Paying homage to The Crown's piss-and-vinegar by way of I's (i.e. Abbath's) strutting rock, Hearse are a jukebox pick that'll do well enough for any bar-room brawl.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: HEARSE
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    In These VeinsHearse
    2006
    Etiam5/16/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: HEARSE

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


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