Gooseflesh Chemical Garden

There are many bands out there (read: Europe) who claim the brilliant Swedes in Meshuggah as an influence. But seeing as most people don't have the skill, learned or innate, to write and play with such technical finesse, most of these bands end up sounding like Meshuggah's backwater cousins, Pantera. Gooseflesh are one of those bands, but there's enough in their thrashy sound that saves them from being a total lost cause. There are hints of the jerky Meshuggah style, albeit dumbed down, alongside a distinct Euro-metal sound in songs like "Burning Soul" and "Godbreed." A few notches get taken off the pace for the dirgy "Art of Treachery," one of the highlights, while "Thin Skinned Jesus" and "Controller" remind far too much of Anselmo and crew for any right-minded individual to feel comfortable. There are many strong points to this disc, which unfortunately get offset by the sonic comparisons that can be drawn to the staid world of thrash metal. (Nuclear Blast)