February 14, 2010

Album Review: "Metaphysical Collapse" by Living Corpse


The Gothenburg scene remains one of the most influential groups in all of modern metal, even though the bands comprising the core are but a shadow of their former selves. At the Gates is exclusively a legacy group now, In Flames have lost most of their credibility, Soilwork is inconsistent in their musical output, and Dark Tranquillity is the only band left delivering solid melodic death metal with each album they release. However, a number of young bands have begun an attempt to revitalize the scene by emulating the originators from their glory days. One such band is Living Corpse, an Italian band with a strong grasp of the Gothenburg scene. Their debut album, Metaphysical Collapse, is a tribute to the early years of the scene, when the Gothenburg sound was still new and fresh.

One thing is very clear from the tone of this album: the members of Living Corpse are huge fans of Anders and Jonas Bj√∂rler. The majority of this album sounds very similar to both Slaughter of the Soul by At the Gates and rEVOLVEr by The Haunted, especially in guitar tone and song structure. There are also recognizable influences from early Soilwork and Nightrage. Vocally, singer Rafael Falleti sounds almost exactly like Tomas Lindberg, further cementing the appearance of At the Gates worship. While this is not a bad thing, it is hard to determine what elements, if any, are the band’s own ideas and not drawn from their predecessors.

Regardless of Living Corpse's originality, the music on this album will definitely be enjoyable for any melodic death metal enthusiast. Songs like "Metaphysical Collapse," "Twin Divine," and "The Great Silver Bullet" carry the vintage tone and structure of At the Gates, with subtle hints of thrash and groove spread throughout the album. In some places, the thrash is more easily recognizable – "Zero is the Zenith of the Sun" and "6th Race of Aquarius Age" are much faster and more stylistically similar to The Haunted and Darkane. In fact, almost every Gothenburg band has elements that appear in Living Corpse's sound, which is why anyone who longs for the return of the Gothenburg glory days should give this album a listen. Elements of In Flames, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, and even newer bands like Scar Symmetry are recognizable in various songs. This is all achieved through the masterful work of producer Ettore Rigotti. His production gives this album a modern sound while retaining the desired "classic" tone, which serves this young band very well.

Metaphysical Collapse is a decent debut album and should give Living Corpse a strong start to their career. It's definitely not an original album by any stretch of the imagination, but for a new band, being able to emulate At the Gates so well is not a bad thing at all. Hopefully they will be able to branch out and mature in their sound on future albums. For now, though, Metaphysical Collapse will serve as a reminder to everyone why the Gothenburg scene became such a monster in the world of metal.

Score: 6.5 out of 10

Track Listing

1. Ars Regia
2. Metaphysical Collapse
3. Twin Divine
4. Zero is the Zenith of the Sun
5. The Great Silver Bullet
6. Mindflow
7. Conspiract
8. 6th Race of Aquarius Age
9. Supplying My Lust
10. Daybreak

Album Personnel

Rafael Falleti - Vocals
Emanuele Ciancio - Guitar
Mauro Lacertosa - Bass guitar
Daniele Di Giorgio - Drums

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