Absolute Terror Field - The Hedgehog's Dilemma

'The Hedgehog's Dilemma' is Absolute Terror Field's debut album, and it hits pretty hard. Sure, there is the typical hardcore chug to many tracks backed by metalcore screaming/ shouting and a mix of clean vocals that just don't really sound like they should be there, but the band also adds quite a bit of melodic death metal moments, such as with the "Intro" which kicks off as a great instrumental that sounds thick and heavy but isn't too gritty so one can't really enjoy the melodies. "Desolation" continues that great melodic line but tosses in the shouting vocals and throws in some growling too, but overall the feeling still adds up to a basic hardcore/ metalcore mix band along the lines of a band like Dystrophy or Attack Attack. The thick, chugging riffs add a bit of groove, but at the same time, do the rest of the instruments a bit of injustice by making the riffs sound a lot more basic than they really are throughout the song.

"The Claim" makes more liberal use of the hardcore music structure by giving a focus to sectioned chugging riffs and then adding in a heavy bass line that is almost technical. The cleaner vocals sound somewhat decent, but a bit too rough for the music- they should have kept it with the hardcore gang vocals; at least those have passion. The clean vocals sound almost depressed and grungy, which doesn't really add up to the rest of the music pace overall. "Dead Or Alive" and "Horror Within" make strong use of the metalcore style in the guitars with the drums playing more in paused blocks of music rather than just non stop hammering; on "Dead Or Alive" the group vocals are brought in again to great effect. At this point it becomes somewhat hard to get engaged with the rest of the album because it feels like every track uses the same musical structure over and over. Only the title track shows any variation with its soft opening and then melodic chugging behind a groovy drum beat. It is by far the best showcase of musical skill for the band, despite it being such a brief track.

Overall, the entire album shows promise. Regarding the title track it shows room for the best area and structure for the band to follow as far as diversifying their work and making an even strong album no. 2. The melodic death metal, metalcore, and hardcore mix is an interesting lot, but overall doesn't do that much to bring anything new to the table when there are other bands out there who perform in the exact same way. However, that doesn't mean that Absolute Terror cannot break away from the generic sound and expand evolve as time goes on.

  1. Intro
  2. Desolation
  3. Pragmatism
  4. The Claim [for indipendence]
  5. Dead or Alive
  6. The Horror Within
  7. Tomorrow Burning Fast
  8. The Hedgehog's Dilemma
  9. Black Lodge

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Mar 18, 2011

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