Wednesday, January 30, 2002 @ 8:06 AM
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On paper, Lock Up should be nothing short of incredible, a death metal/grindcore fan’s wildest wet dream come true - so to speak. Just look at the line up: Jesse Pintado and Shane Embury from Napalm Death, ex-Cradle of Filth/current Dimmu Borgir human tornado Nick Barker on drums and ex-At The Gates/current The Crown growler Tomas Lindberg on the mic, replacing Hypocrisy/Pain frontman Peter Tagtgren. That’s a damn formidable pedigree, yet once again the extreme metal supergroup comes across as nothing more than ordinary on record.
Instead of building on their collective strengths and doing something unique and magnificent - which they certainly seem capable of - Lock Up spend most of their energy on their second release rehashing dated thrash histrionics and borrowing from Napalm Death’s Harmony Corruption/Utopia Banished-era hyperspeed book of tricks. And that’s pretty much what they did on the 2000 debut Pleasure Paves Sewers as well.
Hate Breeds Suffering offers 16 stripped down, micro-burst tracks - the entire album clocks in at a viciously efficient 29:44 - where Pintado grinds away as fast as he can on his guitar trying to keep pace with Barker’s gatling-gun blast beats while Lindberg screams his head off over it all. There’s really not much more to it than that. It’s raw, primal, pissed off and brutal to be sure, but in the end Lock Up still come off sounding like Dark Angel played by a hardcore band or Pintado’s old group Terrorizer.
“The Sixth Extinction” does have a nifty, old school black metal vibe and Pintado lands some bruising, kidney-punch hooks on “Retrogression,” “Dead Sea Scroll Deception” and elsewhere, but anyone looking for an extreme metal epiphany on Hate Breeds Suffering likely will come away wondering what all the fuss was about.