This Is Hell – Black Mass (Rise Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Hearing Black Mass and thinking of Long Island’s This Is Hell and their career trajectory (or lack thereof) makes one reminisce about the days when Trustkill Records ruled the modern metal roost. Of course, that was at the middle point of the 00’s, back when there was significant buzz around Bleeding Through, 18 Visions, Bullet for My Valentine and the aforementioned This Is Hell. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out things are a lot different in 2011 than they were in 2005. A lot different.

This Is Hell has since jumped ship from Trustkill to Rise Records, with Black Mass being the band’s fourth full-length. The band certainly has its clamps down hard on the crossover sound, coming across as much more pissed-off and angular incarnation than the band most folks will point to, Municipal Waste. From this perspective, This Is Hell riffs much harder and is heavier, just take a gander at the bruising title track and “Demons.”

The necessary vitriol is being spouted by singer Travis Reilly, who does an admirable job of staying discernable and not annoying, even though his political rants and tales of the working class grow stale rather quickly. The real fun happens when Reilly and his bandmates take part in some gang vocals on “The Wars: Part One,” which is always the best part about hardcore of any variety.

Tailor-made for the East Coast hardcore scene, Black Mass plays all of the right parts and says all of the right things. And while crossover screams of being overly-formulaic at times, there’s some merit to a band entering into the middle part of their career with this much wrath.

 www.myspace.com/thisishell

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)