Classic Struggle - Feel Like Hell

12 songs
56:00 minutes
***** ****
Metal Blade


Actually I didn't feel like writing this review. Everything from cover artwork to bandname hinted at just another metalcore band, but as I felt today like listening to aggressive music, I thought I might as well give The Classic Struggle a chance. Coming from the unlikely metal state of South Carolina, TCS seem free of any too obvious influences. That doesn't mean that the twelve songs on their debut Feel Like Hell can win an originality prize, but their uncompromising mixture of old school death metal with Scandinavian flavour and a drop of metalcore awareness is much more violent than many current commercially successful bands.

With a generous running time of nearly an entire hour, TCS's songs are atypically long, owing often more to the good old days of mid-Eighties thrash metal than to modern metal sounds. So their songs nearly all the time want to achieve speed records, with a diabolically insane double bass drum kicking the band forward to dimensions of musical brutality and aggression that only seem to need a minimum amount of melody.

In this way, Feel Like Hell feels much more like an old school death thrash album, in the vein of classic Slayer or the criminally neglected Exhorder, than just another cookie cutter metalcore follower. I like TCS best whenever they exceed all legal speed limits and when they deliver freakishly complex staccato rhythms that also prove that technically they have learned their lessons.

Feel Like Hell may not be as cute and accessible as many charting metalcore albums at the moment, and for my taste the album could have done with a few songs less, but the fact remains that we deal here with one of the meanest metal albums to see the light of day this year. Absolutely recommended for open-minded fans of extreme metal.

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