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3 out of 5 skulls
July 11, 2008 |

Years Spent Cold Moving Heaven to Hell

In the mood for a little blunt force trauma? Good. Years Spent Cold’s Moving Heaven to Hell is just the vehicle to deliver your masochistic needs, and then some. This New Jersey crew hits like a sledgehammer from out of now where. Their take on aggressive, punishing hardcore is similar to the likes of early Shattered Realm, but with a more metallic sound. In typical tough guy fashion the majority of the songs are confrontational and violent.

Thick, bruising rhythms are the main vehicle for the band’s destructive force. Unrelenting drums and crushing bass mix for a devastating combination. If they don’t do the job, then guitarists Josh and Frank will will come flying in with baseball bats flying in the form of crushing riffs. While the music on this disc isn’t innovative or pushing the genre’s boundaries, what the band lacks in creativeness they more than make up for with their ferocious intensity. The high point of this debut is vocalist Kutz. He’s in full rage mode throughout the album with deep guttural growls and barks — like a pissed off pitbull going for the jugular.

The opening track is a brief intro with the sounds of a storm and an EKG machine that goes flat line to announce the transition to the next song.

Ear To Ear
A fairly memorable bit of guitar work starts this one off with bruising riffs and guttural vocals. I think this short track would have served better as the intro. It’s pummeling pace and bruising tones would have made for the perfect intro.

Moving Heaven To Hell
The title track has some thick, crusty riffing and unrelenting drums to get it going. Layered growls and screams are a nice touch and atypical of this style of beat down, metallic hardcore. The song’s anti-religious message is in your face and accompanied with beefy guitars and plenty of backing vocals.

The message is clear with this song. Don’t fuck with these dudes, plain and simple. The group vocals to this one will have you shouting along at the top of your lungs no matter where you are when it hits. As for the music, it’s got an aggressive pace that helps push the vocals along. Bruising riffs work with slightly melodic hooks to keep things interesting.

Breaking All Ties
“Breaking All Ties” features Fat Pat from Fit for an Autopsy on guest vocals, trading growl for growl with Kutz. Fat Pat’s addition gives this one a more death metal feel and layered with Kutz’s vocals makes for a violent, swirling delivery. There are some truly thick and massive breakdown riffs around the 1:40 mark.

No One Misses You
Another guest vocalist makes their presence felt on a verse or two of this next track. Rolling drums and chugging guitars introduce D-God of Fallback as the second set of shouts. More massive guitars dominate this track throughout. Man these dudes really have a singular goal with this album — beat your sorry ass into an early grave. The ultra slow breakdown just before the three minute mark is pretty god damned sick.

Coming Up Roses
I love the opening drum work to this one before the vocals come in. There’s actually a decent groove flowing through this one that will have you head banging along with the chugging riffs and pummeling drums. There are a few explosion of frenetic drums around the 1:25 point that’s definitely a highlight of the song.

End Your Life
The title says it all for this one. Thick, blunt riffs and heavy bass are the primary method of destruction with this one as unrelenting drums bludgeon your senseless. I love the riffing at the 1:18 point — they’ve got an interesting rock vibe that really fits well here. The group vocals on the chorus are a nice touch as well.

Abandon All Hope
This one starts off with a chaotic din of crushing guitars, layered vocals and some of the quickest drums I’ve ever heard in this genre. I mean, damn man… how much meth did the drummer take before the start of this one? The guys soon settle in to pummel mode with melodic hooks and suffocating rhythms. bone shattering bass hits hard with the deathcore feel of the breakdown around the 1:25 mark. The addition of echoes on the lead growls toward are an interesting touch.

We Set Fire
Antagonistic to a fault, this tough guy driven track has some sick tempo shifts and bruising guitars. There are moments of chaos as the drums explode over deeper and more guttural growls courtesy of Kutz. This one takes early Shattered Realm and, like Emeril, kicks that bitch up a notch.

Massive drums and guttural growls get this one off to a savage start. The amount of vehemence and anger in the vocals on this one is undeniable and when mixed with the violent tones of the guitars, this is one hell of an aggressive track. This one’s thick like the blood draining from a cracked skull.

“Turncoat” is a high paced ride on the beat down train. Metallic riffing and layered screams are a nice touch to the pummeling rhythms. There’s also a pretty sweet groove flowing behind the violent left hooks.

Toy Soldier
The final track features a few dudes from other bands on guest vocals — a veritable who’s who of FSU beat down bands. Paul Brown from Repercussion, Chris from Suffer the Living, and Joe None and Danny of Shattered Realm. This one is violent, aggressive and storms through the speakers with reckless abandon. I’m not sure about the Native American chanting at the end, but O.K.

~ ~ ~

Sometimes you just need to mindlessly beat the living hell out of something. Years Spent Cold’s Moving Heaven to Hell is the soundtrack for your needs. Mixing beat-down hardcore with death metal elements the band is set to lay waste upon the land with this debut album.

Favorite Tracks:
All but the intro.

Additional Notes:

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