February 5, 2009 | , , , | 4

Dimension Zero, He Who Shall Not Bleed

Dimension Zero: He Who Shall Not Bleed

Started as a side project back in 1996, Dimension Zero have now released their third album, He Who Shall Not Bleed, an amalgam of the band’s diverse members. Featuring the likes of Jesper Stromgblad (In Flames), Daniel Antonsson (Soilwork) and Jocke (ex-Marduk), this Swedish collective deliver the goods with melodic death metal that’s heavy on the thrash and energy.

For the most part, the pace of this album is full throttle, full time, but it does slow periodically to allow for some dynamic, more focused songwriting and performances. The guitars will pummel you to dust at one moment and lift you back up the next while the rhythm section lays waste to all in the band’s path. Vocally, the group work together bringing in mid-range screams and shouts along with deeper, slightly guttural accompanying efforts. This is, however, far from a carbon copy of any of the members’ other bands, instead it’s a unique blending of past and current influences into a feral, bruising death metal beast.

He Who Shall Not Bleed
The album opens up with the title track, an evil, pummeling affair. The vocals are raw and of the higher pitch variety to get the track started, but a deeper growl is introduced shortly after with a build up of riffing and drums. The two deliveries work together to create an aggressive edge to an already in-your-face song. “He Who Shall Not Bleed” doesn’t let up for a moment, as the band tear their way to the song’s finale. The explosion of frenzied activity just before the two minute mark (and subsequent chorus) is pretty bad ass.

Unto Others
“Unto Others” continues the pummeling drum work and thick, driving riffs that ended out the album’s opening track. There are several smooth and quick tempo shifts throughout the song as more melodic riffing is introduced with the chorus. The layered screams really add some power to the overall feel of the song.

A Paler Shade Of White (A Darker Side Of Black)
This next song starts off with a pretty aggressive pace and mid-range, layered shouts along with driving riffs. This one has a bit more of an In Flames feel, but still does enough to keep the sound the band’s own. There’s a higher energy groove to this one as it storms from the speakers. I love that the song ends with dark, aggressive barks and then silence.

Hell Is Within
“Hell Is Within” keeps the pace flowing nicely with slightly more melodic riffing. Again, layered vocals really make this song that much more powerful, especially in conjunction with the driving riffs and pile driving pace.

Red Dead Heat
A big growl gets this next one started with a high energy, frenzied pace. The vocals are much darker and guttural as the track continues to pummel and bruise. The chorus is pretty sweet on this song as well. Too bad it’s also one of the shorter songs on the album, I would like to have heard more of this one.

I Can Hear The Dark
After some light, spoken lyrics the band explodes with a big scream and driving riffs. The pace increases exponentially from that quiet start as the band shreds flesh from the bone with big screams and big riffs. This one is pretty damned aggressive with the call and response vocal deliveries.

Going Deep
A thicker tone dominates the guitars on this pile driving track. The vocals trade off from mid-range to deep gutturals with the support of bone crushing rhythms and nasty riffs. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album mostly due to it’s no bullshit approach to beating your face in.

A big “come on” gets the blood flowing as driving drums and chugging riffs get your ass off the seat and into a one-man mosh pit. The guitar work is catchy especially during the staggered vocal cadence around the one minute mark. This one has a subtle black metal feel to it, perhaps due to the harsh vocals, but it’s a nice contrast to everything else going on within the song.

“Deny” has a some great drum work and catchy riffs as it opens up at a gallop. The vocals have so much power in them throughout the track, hitting nicely varied ranges and intensities. The song definitely has that “Swedish” feel as it steamrolls along recklessly. There’s a big time slow down with light guitar and super softly spoke lyrics around the two minute mark that leads into a sweet, soaring lead.

The Was
Trading guitars starts this one off with a decent pace for the first 15 seconds before an In Flames inspired lick comes in. There’s a heaping pile of thrash thrown in to the song’s mix that gives it a slightly old school feel momentarily. It’s not a bad track. There’s some nicely layered screams, tempo shifts and memorable riffing.

Way To Shine
The final “regular” track of the album starts out with some brighter guitar tones and steady rhythm. It quickly comes to a stop for lightly sung, clean vocals and light guitar plucking before the evil comes in with higher end screams and chugging riffs. The lead at 2:22 is the most impressive one on the album and it shreds pretty damned hard.

Stayin’ Alive
The first of two bonus tracks is a hilariously awesome cover of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” This thing will induce a new trend of disco moshing that’ll sweep the nation and thusly bring about the apocalypse. Sweet.

I’m not at all sure of what’s being said in the opening segment of this next bonus, but I do know that the crushing metal that follows is evil as fuck. The short track is aggressive, dark and bruising.

~ ~ ~

Knowing where the members of Dimension Zero come from, musically, I was pleasantly surprised with He Who Shall Not Bleed, their third full length album. I suppose I was expecting more influences from their other incarnations to take hold on the band’s sound, but it hasn’t. There’s plenty of devastating melodic death, thrash and more in the confines of this disc that need to be experienced.

Favorite Tracks:
All of them

Additional Notes: