Lower Hell Hellevator

Lower Hell Hellevator
There are definite metalcore tendencies among Germany's Lower Hell, especially on this latest release, but they're not all bad. The follow-up to their 2008 EP, Asphyxia, debut full-length Hellevator combines melodic death metal with some thrash and a few hardcore elements. The album varies between monstrous technical soloing and all-out chugging riffage, with howling vocals and hammering drum blasts throughout. Clearly influenced by classic Swedish death metal and modern American metal, tracks like "The Requiem" highlight Lower Hell's diverse sound. But the album is a little unfocused, at times, as the band try to pack too much into it, creating a mess of sound rather than distinct rhythms. The instrumental title track, however, is a nice break from this, at two-thirds of the way through the record, showing off the band's technical skill with clear tones and melodies. Hellevator isn't all that inventive and the vocals could use a bit of maturity, but it's an admirable effort. (Bastardized)