The Kandidate

Until We Are Outnumbered

Written by: AP on 10/03/2010 02:55:10

Jacob Bredahl ought to be a familiar name in Danish metal circles, having been involved with several notable domestic acts, most prominently as the former vocalist of constant shapeshifters Hatesphere, as well as handling production for a number of national as well as international metal albums. His latest aspirations lie with the newborn Kandidate, a hard-trudging thrash metal hybrid which follows comfortably, naturally, in the footsteps of Hatesphere and less obviously, Swedish neighbours The Haunted.

"Until We Are Outnumbered" is as one would expect a groove-laden piece of balls-to-the-walls metal, its influences drawn from far and wide to form a sound that all too familiarly bears the forsaken stigma of Danish metal: high standards, lots of ambition, but overindulgent execution. With over-polished production and a stubborn refusal to resort to things like hooks, preferring instead a jagged and dirty approach, the band starts strong with raucous mosh-mongering - the distressing urgency of "Strength Through Desire" and the swell riffing in "Give Up All Hope" waking some promise and bringing to mind The Haunted's fantastic "rEVOLVEr" album - before careening into a series of unthreatening potholes awash with brick-headed chugging, breakdowns and vague attempts at melody.

The band's biggest problem seems to be that as soon as the novelty wears off, The Kandidate seem to be running out of ideas, and while they deserve props for adding some flavour with nuances of hardcore and Gothenburg-processed melody, the songs themselves are generally not strong enough to take advantage of the applied aesthetic. There are exceptions of course, as "Live a Lie" and "Enemy" both provide rebellious rage assaults, and Jacob Bredahl's vocals are brilliant as always. Shifting between his signature high-pitched screaming, punk-type shouting and the more unfamiliar clean(ish) singing, it really is his performance that holds the album afloat. Sure, the band's lone guitarist Allan Tvedebrink does his best to unleash festering riffage, aided by dual-channel production (which will be a problem live unless a second axeman is found), but the instrumental parts here are generally of the kind that become de-prioritised by excessive bass and of course also the vocals.

As such, "Until We Are Outnumbered" offers little new to this hybrid genre so beloved by the Danish metal crowd, and thrash metal purists will almost certainly decry its metalcore tendencies, but if the more recent Hatesphere and Haunted records dot your shelves, there is probably something in here for you. Lots of groove, down-tuned riffs and pit-friendly mayhem for fans of blue collar metal.

6

Download: Strength Through Desire, Give Up All Hope, Live a Lie, Enemy
For the fans of: Allhelluja, Hatesphere, The Haunted, Lamb of God
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.01.2010
Napalm Records

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