Gehtika - This New World

Here is Gehtika, yet another uninspiring hardcore/metalcore type outfit, complete with strained, forced screams and open chug-chug-chug breakdowns (of which there is no shortage), as standard. Which is fine, if you're into that, but for the rest of us who prefer our metal with beards and balls, it's starting to get a little monotonous.

"For fans of Pantera" claims the press release. Dimebag would be positively spinning in his grave if he knew he was being compared to this lot. Sure, the guitarists Scott Allen and Jonty Bott are good at what they do; there's well-crafted and pleasant melodic parts as well as a bit of shredding, but it's practically sacrilegious to suggest that this watered-down attempt at metal is in any way comparable to the mighty Pantera.

After a mellow, instrumental introductory track, Gehtika kick off "This New World" with something heavier. "Gods of Death" begins promisingly enough, and it ticks all the boxes at first. Pounding double bass drumwork? Check. Roaring, crunchy guitars? Check. If it wasn't for the overuse of the already worn-out cliche of combining heavy verses with melodic choruses, it would be much more tolerable. And if vocalist Scott Allen knew that proper growling should be a powerful roar coming from deep in the belly, he might sound less like a strangled dinosaur and more like something listenable. As such, this makes the aforementioned cliched choruses quite amiable in comparison. "Condemned to Fail", on the other hand, lets the listener indulge in almost a full two minutes of tasty guitar riffery culminating in some fine soloing, which is what metal is supposed to be about. It's a shame that it's the penultimate track, because it's at about this point that "This New World" seems to be looking up.

The opening and closing tracks are this album's strong points. Perhaps because they're purely instrumental, and Gehtika can really exhibit their skills as musicians without being undermined by a raspy, grating singer. They're on the right tracks; give the vocalist some growling lessons and they'd be well on their way to becoming an above-average metalcore band.