Release DetailsLABEL Lifeforce Records
RELEASED ON 11/2/2004
Central Tunnel Eight
posted on 11/2004 By:
With their highly familiar sound, Cipher System pound through eleven tracks of nostalgia inducing melodic Swedish death metal. Right on down to the depraved yells the band is intent on keeping things as 1998 as possible. A good thing for some - terribly boring for others. It's easy listening for most of us who've already experienced the Swedish frenzy of the mid to late 90's, with very little to set it apart. That said, it should be noted CS are at least greatly successful in what they are trying to achieve - sounding like older In Flames and Soilwork.
One of the most irritating things about Central Tunnel Eight is how close (at times) it comes to being awesome. "24 Hours Left" could easily be turned into a great thrash song, but instead the drummer never really lets loose and instead sets the framework into a mid-paced melodic riff-fest, complete with keyboard effects and clean vocals. "State Unknown" is a solid song with some incredible guitarwork, but loses points for the confusing inclusion of dopey keyboard interludes. Although I will criticize them by saying they sound slightly dated, the keyboards do play an important role in giving Cipher System a rich and pleasing sound, like on "Life Surrounds". There's a remarkable spacey breakdown right in the middle of the track where the basswork really stands out. It's the simple deviations like that which make the album worth listening to. My gripes about getting to the verge of thrash metal are relinquished as soon as "Sufferstream" hits. With extremely typical thrash riffing they deliver another timely and well written solo. Sadly though, towards the end of the song, it sounds like Phil Collins just invaded the studio and demanded to sing. While it's still not pretty, the production narrowly saves them from the only real disaster on the album.
Anyone just starting to get into more underground metal will be fantastically impressed with Central Tunnel Eight. Everything's done by the books, which is both the band's primary strength and weakness. If you didn't get enough of this sound the first time around, here's your chance to get sick of it all over again with a group that has plenty of talent to spare.
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