Review Summary: 35 minutes of d beat done right.
Outside of the choruses, I don’t know most of the lyrics on this album. And like all good hardcore, this album is more than successful despite that. The difference however, is that unlike most hardcore, this album reeks of fun. The band sounds like they had a great time making it. I can imagine them cracking open beers and laughing between takes.
I think one particular factor has a lot to do with this fun quality - Kurt Ballou - producer/engineer extraordinaire. We all know how skilled he is behind the boards by now, and with this album, he worked the magic again, and has continued to right through today (the last producer credit he has is ETID’s From Parts Unknown, which is predictably fantastic). He seems to have gotten the guys to loosen up, and just have a good time. The riffs and fills all have something of a casual attitude, which for me, enhances them. This is the sort of album that wants a steady, medium headbang throughout from the listener - Ballou’s production choices and the band's willingness to integrate them achieve that.
The gang vocal choruses certainly don’t hurt when it comes to the fun factor. From the opener Get It Off to Deadweight to Testament, it’s a consistently effective songwriting decision. And as we all know, there’s nothing more fun than a great chorus you can shout along to, and we get them in droves. Tomas Lindberg’s lead vocals are fantastic throughout. Personally, I think they’re even better than they were on albums like Slaughter of the Soul.
This is Swedish hardcore, which of course means that we get the ever reliable buzzsaw guitar tone, made infamous by Entombed courtesy of Uffe Cederlund, who does it as much justice here as he ever did in his old band. There’s a nice amount of variety in terms of riffs and solos, from the upbeat and faster Live The Storm and Fiery Father, to the more downtrodden feel of The Furnace, and the climactic Phantom.
The bass follows the guitar as usual in d beat, but I can’t really complain, because any sort of fancy bass work would get lost in the shuffle. It helps the band get to what is a very full, thick overall sound, which I appreciated. A lot of bands in this arena sound rather thin, which significantly diminishes their impact. Fortunately, Disfear are vets in this game, and know what they’re doing.