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Review: Reclusion - Shell Of Pain
Shell Of Pain

Label: Listenable Records
Year released: 2001
Duration: 41:17
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death/Thrash


Review online: April 21, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 3/5 (60%) (4 Votes)

Glad I gave this a second listen before I reviewed it. The first time I listened to this debut from these Swedish death/thrashers I didn’t like it much at all, but another few spins and it starts to really grow on you.

Now Reclusion are not a very original band. There’s a lot of influences here: some mid-period In Flames, a little At the Gates, and a whole lot of 90’s pseudo-thrash a la Fear Factory (minus the technoshit) or even old Sepultura. Frontman Rune Foss does a pretty good Lars Petrov impersonation, reminding me of "Left Hand Path" a bit, though he has a tendency to get monotonous, sometimes hurting the music more than helping.

This is actually a pretty damn good death/thrash hybrid CD, energetic and well-played. As is often the case with this kind of band, the songs don’t really stand out from one another much, though "Impulsive", "Pressure" and "Reclusion" do stick out as better than the rest, and "A Force of One" as worse. Reclusion put together some highly enjoyable riffs here, certainly good enough to keep the head banging. They do have a tendency to lapse into highly generic thrash-style bang-bang-bang-bang parts, and these get annoying. But when Reclusion wake up and thrash this CD is a lot of fun.

Lyrics are of the depressing-but-not-really-about-anything school so prevalent in Swedish death these days. I have always hated these. Call me old-fashioned, but I think death metal songs should be called stuff like "Throne of Devils" or "Souls in Pits of Torment" not "Impulsive". And they should be about raping virgins and demons rampaging in churches. When death metal or thrash gets all socially conscious it really bores the shit out of me.

Art design on this booklet is really cool. The cover art of the demon fetus with the nails in it is genuinely kind of disturbing. For some reason, the band had dirt painted on them for the band photo, whatever.

All in all, a good death/thrash CD, if not a great one. For those of you who wish Fear Factory hadn’t turned down the path to electronic suckdom and that Sepultura would pull their heads out of their asses will find a lot to like here. Reclusion have a lot of potential, and with better songwriting their next could be really great.

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