Dimension Zero - _Silent Night Fever_
(Regain Records, 2002)
by: David Rocher (
It has taken this glorious blasting bunch over four years since the inception of the four-track MCD, _Penetrations From the Lost World_, to release their first full-length, cryptically titled _Silent Night Fever_ -- and trust me, o rabid followers of the Swedish death metal genre, it has been a worthwhile wait indeed. This all-star thrashing Swedish act -- fronted by ex- and current In Flames axemen Glenn Ljungstrom and Jesper Stromblad, a line-up rounded off by Marduk's former screamer Jocke Gothberg and Diabolique's skinsman Hans Nilsson -- have spawned an album which shall not only stand out as one of the finer efforts released this year, but is also doomed to become a monolithic milestone in the Gothenburg death metal landscapes. There is, so to say, nothing even slightly new on _Silent Night Fever_; but simply, from the searing first bars of the eponymous opener to the brooding finale "Slow Silence", Dimension Zero display a sense of powerful melody and cohesiveness in the musical field which ninety percent of the bands in the "Gothenthrash" genre can only hope to attain in their wildest dreams. Graced with genuine thrashing aggressiveness and unbelievable melodic potency to boot, _Silent Night Fever_ is an unrelenting nine-track sonic assault which never loses its focus on sheer grinding brutality (courtesy of Dimension Zero's foaming-at-the-mouth drummer Hans Nilsson, who mistreated skins for the brutal deathsters Liers in Wait in his early years), yet wisely releases its crushing pressure every now and then, such as the beautiful acoustic segue on "Not Even Dead" testifies to. The frantic level of musical intensity pervading this testimonial gem never recedes, except to announce another forthcoming metal onslaught of a track; hence, just as the comparatively slower "Not Even Dead" closes off, the incredible searing number "They Are Waiting to Take Us" kicks in hard, precisely, and mercilessly. There is honestly nothing that I can hope to criticise on this album, no matter how hard I attempt to point out its flaws; even though the reworked version of Dimension Zero's 1997 vintage track "Through the Virgin Sky", having traded some lethal velocity (and alas, Fredrik Johanson's wicked lead) in for some chunky heaviness, does require a little time to get used to, it soon also shines with virtues and wonders of its own. _Silent Night Fever_ is one of those comparatively rarer albums which will leave both addicts of the Swedish melodic genre enthralled and gasping for air, but will also certainly appeal to followers of more brutal, direct and angered death metal -- a flawless release, which boldly lives up to the high expectations _Penetrations From the Lost World_ failed not to induce.
(article published 7/3/2002)
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