HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

The Duskfall - Lifetime Supply Of Guilt
(Nuclear Blast)

For those pining for The Crown and enamoured with The Haunted, The Duskfall will fill yer crack just fine, this northern Swedish band now onto their third album in six years of (post-Gates Of Ishtar) existence. Recording once again with Daniel Bergstrand, The Duskfall have actually had a significant lineup change, both a guitarist and bassist baited and switched, although the sound remains the same uncompromising thrashing death metal. Adding to the hardness is the Finnish-styled death caw of Kai Jaakkola - no clean vocals here, and even the band's periodic shots at melody are amusingly half-hearted. Shoot It In though, is a booze-imbibing groovy highlight, as is Hours Are Wasted and Down Right Dreadful, each stacked like a cross between Pantera and Soilwork. Elsewhere, the band prove adept at high speeds, if arriving at the lurching end of their hardened electric mass as merely another storming example of thrash perfection, The Duskfall's only play for clear distinction being the fact that they have no pretty bits.
Rating 8

Beautiful Creatures - Deuce

Like the third and fourth Skid Rows, like the hair bands sent to CMC bands in the mid-'90s, like Velvet Revolver, like Brides, like The Cult, and like that last Tesla album, Deuce puts up this wall of sound that is hard to break through to love what's on the other side. The formula is, at the core, a post-grunge that is nu, this idea of huge, circular, bassy Iommi (solo) riffs, which drop out for some sort of treated, wheezy, mixed-back vocal over something quiet, often a bass line. And yes, those vocals... hard to believe that's the same Joe LeSte of Bang Tango fame. He and the rest of the band are so corrected and corporate-sounding, every trendy texture thrown on the guitar, the bass, the vocals. The drum track is groovy, but "correctly" so, cymbals smashed and then controlled. The guys all have the same haircut and the same eyeliner, going for that "I guess authentic rock bands look like this now" thing. It feels so examined, manufactured to be some sort of real and big stadium rock record 'cos Velvet Revolver sold, right?
Rating 4.5

Hard Reviews Page 4