|Hell Within - Asylum Of The Human Predator
19 April 2005
01. Godspeed To Your Deathbed
02. Bleeding Me Black
03. Redemption… Is A Cold Body
04. Merchants Of The Blood Trade
05. A World To Murder
06. Self-Inflicted Silence
07. Asylum Of The Human Predator
08. Soul Revulsion
09. Swallow The Stitches
10. Open Eyes To Open Wounds
The United States have always been a breeding ground for a lot of metal genres, and also a catalyst for the popularisation of these genres. Every five years or so, a new trend is launched amidst the metal world. There has been the Californian thrash scene, the Floridian death metal wave, the nu metal outburst. Since the beginning of the new century, we are drown under a flow of bands that mix more or less successfully US hardcore with Sweden-influenced extreme metal and nu metal. Label it hardcore metal, thrashcore, metalcore or whatever new name you find appropriate. The fact is that this new American metal is now an important scene to be reckoned with.
Hell Within from Boston Massachusetts clearly belongs to this genre. Actually I've recognised after only two seconds that they are American, without even looking at the bio. Hell Within, unlike a lot of thrash-influenced bands, has chosen to base its metal on the most violent hardcore. To this very solid foundation, they've added some more melodic elements directly inspired from Swedish melo thrash/death. That makes the whole album sound like a mix between Hatebreed and The Haunted. The melodic side is strengthened by some clean vocals on most choruses. The singer is not bad at all and reminds of Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage fame. Don't worry, Asylum… doesn't sound nu metal at all in my opinion, thanks to a good dose of aggression brought by the hardcore parts. It must be noted that the end of the album (from 'Asylum Of The Human Predator' on to the end) is much more violent than the first part, and that the few nu metal elements have disappeared in favour of a more At The Gates-like approach. 'Swallow The Stitches' and 'Soul Revulsion' are two great tracks that flirt with Swedish melodeath.
That being said, the biggest quality of this album is that it remains catchy without being overly commercial. The riffs, whether purely hardcore or more metal, are still accessible without being naive, and the various solos are not here just to show off, but fit very well in the musical landscape. The clean choruses are varied and bring a much welcome respite among all these furious screams (special mention to 'Godspeed To Your Deathbed', 'Bleeding Me Black' and 'A World To Murder').
Actually since the production is top-notch - as always with US products, the only flaw I can find is that Asylum… tends to be quite repetitive after a few listenings. The alternance of screams and clean vocals is not by itself very original, but here it is very predictable. Plus, most of the time, the songs follow the same line and simple structures. Next time, Hell Within will have to put up a bit more surprises to really create a successful album.
Despite this criticism, I am sure that they will gain fans in America and throughout the world. People out there who like hardcore metal, you can give this good album a try without hesitation. It's been a nice discovery to me. Check out 'Bleeding Me Black' on the MS April compilation!
Highlights: Godspeed To Your Deathbed, Bleeding Me Black, A World To Murder, Soul Revulsion, Swallow The Stitches