Written by: AP on 29/12/2008 15:15:43

Although Lifend's history dates back to 1999, the band has rarely been mentioned outside Italian underground press, something that Aural Music now hopes to change with the band's latest outing, "Devihate". The extremes of death, black, doom and gothic metal that once dominated the band's music have been swept under the carpet with the departure of their female vocalist, with the focus shifted to a more incisive, aggressive approach that is sure to have fans and critics crying metalcore. While that isn't entirely untrue, stylistically the band belongs in the same category as their peers, Onsetcold: extreme metal with a modern wash, dubbed by Lifend as post-death.

It's not quite extreme enough to be considered true death metal, and certainly not true black metal, but it lacks the state-of-the-art production and breakdowns of death- and metalcore. In fact, what immediately strikes out from "Devihate" is the amateur-like quality to the songs that seems to be the trend with Italian extreme music. It would be easy to blame this on (intentionally) bad production but the band does its fair share, too. Matteo ensures that the rhythm section is dominated by trite double-pedal patterns and a snare drum that he has tightened to an annoying, hollow sound that sounds more like a wooden cup than a drum, while Alberto and Marco's weapon of choice is the typical metalcore-technique of palm-muting with single string open notes and tremolo in between. Occasionally their use of a submerged clean guitar sound in calm interludes creates some fine moments, but, through overuse of these parts, the songs end up sounding even more formulaic.

Alberto, also in charge of vocal duties, does a fair, if monotonous job in the scream compartment (reminiscent of Eddie of All Shall Perish), but his clean vocals are as disappointing as his riffs. Alas, the songs pass without causing much commotion; except of course in the songs that do so because they sound even worse than others production-wise. You see, there is an almost demo-like feel to the album, and songs like "Fail Again (Fragmets Ov Regret)" suggest that a number of the songs have simply been thrown in in the absence of sufficient new material to make a full album. Unlike their peers in Onsetcold, Lifend fail miserably even at whipping up some kind of atmosphere to shroud their mistakes with.


Download: Purify Me, Try Again (Loss)

For the fans of: At The Gates, Onsetcold

Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.05.2008

Aural Music

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