Self Inflicted Hell

If the private investigator skills I picked up by watching Mr. Matula crack cases and score with the whores in one of the longest running German cop TV-shows, Ein Fall für Zwei, on TV can be trusted – Canadian Horfixion has more years (12) behind them than I can count (I’ve only got ten fingers; damned you be mutants! Damned you be for having it easy!). Yet they’ve only got a handful of releases out of which most have been released after 1999. Either the band drank the better part of the ’90s or they have something to hide… Rather than calling Joey Greco of Cheaters fame to dig up the dirt, I guess I’ll just digest it in my imagination by listening to the band’s latest offering, Self Inflicted Hell. ‘Cause that’s basically what my life is.

Self Inflicted Hell is 36 minutes of American thrash metal. Distinctively American thrash metal, so no real surprises there. The album starts out somewhat slow – with faster mosh parts evenly thrown into the songs while singer and guitarist Samuel Landry shouts his way through the riffing like the Tom Araya. Unfortunately – even if I used the word “riffing” – deep down it’s quite basic and I was secretly hoping for something much more adventurous. You know, those fist-fuck-guitar-orgies where the use of two guitarists really start to shine like the sleeveless Golden Gym T-shirt on a mullet wearing virtuoso (with a capital V). Of course, since most bands who roam on similar grounds don’t have such guitar dueling either, I guess it’s unfair to complain. Especially when at times on this Horfixion output, there’s at least some parts with more interesting twists and turns.

I must say, I wasn’t too keen on the album after the first half. The album starts out rather normally with faster tempo but just when they should be increasing the fury, the tempo and the delivery of the punches – they take out the fire extinguisher and put out the flame that just a moment ago seemed to be ready to expand and explode. Argh! It’s almost like banging seven chicks at the same time only to wake up and realize that it was a dream and your life still sucks. But just about when the half has passed, it seems like they remembered what they were doing and pick up the pace and start delivering the safe, but always nice, thrash metal that they were supposed to deliver from the very beginning.

Part of the grime I’ve got with Self Inflicted Hell is the production. It just lacks that force which has made weak songs on other albums worth of at least a couple of nods. For example the album’s best track (no question about it), Thoughtless, would have been a grand anthem of rage for me if it wasn’t for the lifeless production. It’s a shame as it really would have shook the shit out of my neighbors if only given the treatment the song deserves. Last but not least, Rendez-vous avec la Mort, is – as the name suggests – a song sung in French. I’m tempted to quote S.O.D’s legendaric album (something about speaking something), but since the song is rather nice and puts a deserving end to this album of mixed emotions and feelings, I guess I’ll let it slide away this time… no – I must say it. In this particular case, the delicate language of French just doesn’t work. But that’s okay, since in all honesty the ending part is almost perfect: starting out with a short acoustic part and then transforming into a pure mosh fest. Where was this stuff 30 minutes ago?

All in all, I wouldn’t lose my sleep over Self Inflicted Hell as it promises more than it’s able to deliver. Hopefully I won’t have to copy and paste this review when the next album comes out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
January 18th, 2005


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