Fear My Thoughts
Hell Sweet Hell

Germany’s Fear My Thoughts complete they shift from rumbling metalcore to melodic death metal that was hinted at on last years ambitious The Great Collapse, and while Hell Sweet Hell is a solid album, it just doesn’t leap out at me and I still prefer the band’s more extroverted stylings of V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

That being said, Hell Sweet Hell oozes class and professionalism from every note as the heavily Edge of Sanity influenced sound is fully realized, leaving metalcore’s musical and lyrical guises far behind. The Swano-isms litter the album from the pristine guitar tone, the clean vocal breaks and supine synths to the songs them selves that pitter patter with elegant, artful structures, methodical solos and plenty of earthy death metal swagger. Mathias Von Ockl has become far more than an angry metalcore screamer with a deep growl and moody clean vocals performed in again, a very Swano-ish tone, while guitarists Markus Ruf and Patrick Hagmann also have fully embraced melodic death metal’s warmer tones.

The album starts with a needless intro and the rather predictable gallop “Windows for the Dead”, so it’s not until “In the Hourglass” is my attention captured by the bands latest effort. The track’s sweeping intro and impressive growl sets the tone for the tracks superb solo and climax. The opening salvo of “My Delight” is pure death metal and the tracks addictive riff culls from the obvious In Flames, Dark Tranquility school of layered goodness, but FMT do liven it up and give the traditional structures their own Germanic flourish. The ominous chorus of “Sweetest Hell” could be further from the bands metalcore roots while the delicate Swedish canter of “Dying Eyes” might be the most proficient riff the band has written and “The Master’s Call” is a deft Crimson era display of melody, skill and artful brutality. However, no track leaps out as truly album defining and past and last moments of the album sound a little rehashed and similar, but still enjoyable mind you. Fear My Thoughts seem a little too placid (musically and lyrically as heard on “Tie Fighting” ) in their new found comfort zone, rather than pushing boundaries as they did early on in their discography, admittedly its excellently done, its just lacks that special sparkle to make it truly special. I’d like to see FMT try an more epic longer , less predictable tracks like tracks like closer “…Trying to Feel”, with its sweeping Neurosis tones, hack maybe reintroduce the electric violin from V.I.T.R.I.O.L. The Jacob Hansen (Communic, Mercenary) production is perfect, especially for the band’s chosen sound and it glosses the music with a nice lush feel, even if the songs are a little stale in places.

Fear My Thoughts, while undoubtedly one of the better German bands around seemed, to have played it safe on Hell Sweet Hell, delivered a solid if unspectacular and maybe slightly disappointing follow-up to The Great Collapse, but they have also shown themselves to be rock solid in their ability to perform melodic death metal at a pretty high standard.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 23rd, 2005


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