Hearse
In These Veins

Hearse is a strange duck. Since Johan “SomberDusk” Liiva’s departure of Arch Enemy some years ago, these Swedes have been rummaging in the scene, pushing out albums, and creating a sound that really is kind of original. Although, they have never really produced that one great album, Hearse is progressing and In These Veins is the best record yet in their career.

First thing noticeable is Liiva’s voice. The off kilter roars that we are use to with this guy have been replaced with strong raspy death growls. It may have taken the guy some ten years to fill that void in his vocal talent but damn it he did it. Johan seriously stands out on this record. Johan has also been one of my favorite and most respected guys in the scene since I started getting into the Swedish thing some years back. The man has had his hand in a lot over the years and he never lets up. He is an amazing contributor to Swedish metal and I will always look for his works. Never doubt this man’s work ethic, that’s for sure.

Musically we have exactly what you would expect from Hearse. Upbeat death ‘n’ roll with Van Halen solo’s being thrown around everywhere. It always did sound a little strange but that’s why I feel they have a little of their own thing happening. Guitar player Mattias “Evil Mattias” Ljung is really a seriously talented guy. He produces some dangerous riffs on this record. The entire feel of In These Veins is a lot more death metal. Their concept of melody is loose, and it takes a few listens to set in, but what Hearse delivers here is rather enjoyable and fun. They remind me of a more abstract Susperia. That rock vibe over takes the music but the undertones of melodic death and true death are undeniable, definitely a diverse band.

There isn’t a bad song on the CD. A few of the backing vocals are really annoying, its almost punk sounding. There are even female vocals underlying the wall of sound on “Corroding Armour”. You won’t hear this CD let up either, it’s full blast all the way through. It will kick your ass.

If you are like me, you have always looked for what Hearse is up to, waiting on some spectacular display. Although they aren’t setting the world on fire, they are a wickedly relentless act that is sure to spark interest with this record. If you’re in the mood for something a little different and fun, pick this up.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
October 2nd, 2007

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