This Is Hell Sundowning

One of Trustkill’s recent efforts to regain respectability following their steady descent into a commercially-driven slump rivalled only by Victory Records, This Is Hell’s debut full-length is fairly diverting, yet not all that cohesive. A brief 28-minute collection of melody-driven hardcore broken up by the more typically metallic usage of introspective instrumentals, Sundowning ends up coming across as a less anthemic Comeback Kid with serious aspirations to be American Nightmare — particularly in the vocals. While this is not necessarily a negative observation, it does render This Is Hell’s sounds devoid of pretty much any innovation or draw to all but scene aficionados or fans of the aforementioned groups. An underachieving, powerless production doesn’t help matters either — a boost to the low end could have delivered that extra "oomph” needed to bolster material this average. Not to communicate an overall negative impression — there are moments, usually when melancholic, refined melody takes centre stage, where the group shine. "Permanence” boasts an instant memorable clean vocal refrain, while "Epilogue” closes the effort in suitably epic fashion. However, if This Is Hell were to allow these tendencies to run rampant for an entire full-length, it would corner them into the same half-hearted niche occupied by Strike Anywhere and recent With Honor — which leads to more questions about just how necessary an addition to your collection a record this ultimately directionless really is. (Trustkill)