Am I finally just burnt out on Swedish melodic death metal? There’s nothing particularly wrong with The Silence We Deserve, the new album from Stockholm’s Scarpoint, and the band’s staccato, machine gun riffs seem to be born almost entirely out of their love for In Flames, Soilwork and Meshuggah, which is all good in theory – hell, album producer Daniel Bergstrand has worked with all of those awesome bands and more – but there’s something… missing. Like Sonic Syndicate – another recent Swedish band that seems like they ought to be better than they actually are – Scarpoint often seem like an imitation of an imitation: a Swedish band ripping off American bands ripping off Swedish bands. Not the worst thing ever, but kind of ridiculous.

The problem here is that there are no memorable hooks – no choruses as anthemic as “Only for the Weak,” no melodies as infectious as “Rejection Role,” no riffs as hypnotic as “Rational Gaze.” As a matter of fact, Scarpoint are at their most flat when trying to ape Meshuggah (see “Terminal Trechery”), because the band hasn’t mastered that group’s ability to become an ever-shifting mathematical equation of a musical unit, and the result is that the throbbing guitar work just seems kind of mechanical, repetitive, and, in some cases, nu-metally (yes, I just made up a word – blow me). The band fares better with songs like “Disorder,” a tune that breeds together a heavy, galloping riff Slayer-esque riff with a couple of breakdowns that wouldn’t be out of place on an Unearth album, and “Behind the Shadows,” which, at least fifty percent of the time, does a reasonable job of sounding like the In Flames number that it clearly aspires to be.

Look – this is not an irritating album that I would necessarily give someone shit for liking – but I feel like anyone who declares that with The Silence We Deserve “we are witnessing the birth of a Meshuggah phenomenon reborn” must have heard a different album than I did.

(two out of five horns)


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