Reclusion - _Shell of Pain_
(Listenable Records, 2001)
by: David Rocher (8 out of 10)
Spin this beast, and bang -- a very Swedishly aggressive opening riff, pummeling drums and a throaty Marco Aro-style roar slap you in the face, the premises of a forty-something minute-long mauling session surgically delivered by amazing "Gothenthrash" newcomers Reclusion. Whereas over the past two or three years many bands or projects swimming in these waters -- such as Terror 2000, Hatesphere, Diabolical or Carnal Forge -- have faced their ability to deliver quality, thrashing death metal with their complete incapacity to rise above (or even merely paddle away from) the hairy packs of death metallers cruising in the same pond as them, Reclusion have proved, in the space of their single, crunchy, varied and powerful release, that they are the newfound bosses in the turbid Swedish death metal swamp. Their musical abilities, for one thing, combined with the unusual and sharp ways in which they use them (such as on the unusually groovy eponymous number "Reclusion"), turn what could have been another mildly satisfying, yet hopelessly derivative offering, into this murderous slab of metal might. From the all-out, chunky and bilious rhythmical aggression they deliver right over to the virtuoso, compelling leads effortlessly churned out by their very inspired axeman, _Shell of Pain_ is one of the most gutturally satisfying releases this genre has ever witnessed -- in this particular field, I don't recall having this much fun with a "Gothenthrash" CD since Darkane kicked my head in and teeth out with their godly debut _Rusted Angel_ [CoC #42]. Enough said, I believe.

[Paul Schwarz: "At a stretch, you could call this "Gothenburg Bay Area thrash". Reclusion are competent, powerful and sometimes even verge on intense, but they don't have enough pure thrash force to beat The Haunted or The Crown, nor the melodic leadwork to outshine the likes of Darkane and Soilwork. Nonetheless -- excluding parts like the primary verse of "Reclusion" where things get unpleasantly "in-yo-face" in simplistic, macho-posturing, Machine Head style -- Reclusion have delivered a good, aggressive-and-melodic metal album in _Shell of Pain_."]

(article published 14/1/2002)


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