System Shock

Hailing from Sweden, System Shock play melodic death metal not too far removed from anything you’ve heard before. Later day Dark Tranquillity serves as a loose template of what System shock plays. Add more emphasis on the use of keys in most places, a strong sense of accessibility, a vocalist more comparable to Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg than Mikael Stanne, and you’re pretty much spot on. While this is hardly fresh or original, they execute well enough.

Escape is a fairly well balanced album, with some songs (“Getting What We Asked For”, “Mountains of Madness, and “Engine Failure”) being a little quicker footed and guitar oriented, while “No Life, No Home” and “Broken In Two” are slow burners with clean vocals in the verses, the latter of which uses keys for more of an atmospheric role, whereas the former features them as the focal melody. The self titled track is almost exclusively carried by keys, until the end where a slight bit of shred action comes into play. “A Note and a Gun” is by far the most experimental sounding track on offer, with more chugga-chugga type riffing and some of the keys giving off a more industrial type feeling, while “Bleed” is extremely predictable, sporting a very strong In Flames Colony feel.

Escape is not a bad or terrible listen by any stretch of the imagination and may actually quite enjoyable to most melodeath enthusiasts, but I’d imagine most metal fans in general will find it to be redundant and boring, despite it’s strong execution.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
January 18th, 2008


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