Coming in somewhere between In Flames and Trivium, and putting Hungarian hardcore on the map...

Europe has always been known as a hot bed for great metal, with Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany offering up the likes of Arch Enemy, In Flames, Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Rammstein... the list goes on... Hungary, however, might not be the first place that springs to mind for its output of brutal metalcore. Bridge To Solace is out to set the record straight, and with 'Where Nightmares and Dreams Unite' they prove that they're firing on all cylinders and taking no prisoners.

Forming in 2000 and combining various members of Hungarian hardcore and punk bands, it was 2002 before the group finally made it on-stage, followed by the release of 'Of Bitterness and Hope' in 2003 and 2004's 'Kingdom of the Dead'. Having opened for the likes of Children of Bodom and Cradle of Filth, survived the addition of a new guitarist and earning a place with Dutch hardcore label GSR, 2005 was a busy year for the band, and 2006 looks to be no different, as they begin to establish themselves as one of the most dedicated and hardworking European hardcore bands out there.

Opener 'Sundeath' begins an all-guns blazing assault; Zoli's vocals sound like Matt Heafy with anger management issues and a throat infection, while the guitars carry the melody with their hook-laden riffs; elsewhere, the pulverising drum beats and anthemic group vocals hint at the band's punk and hardcore roots.

The new Trivium, you ask? Well, not quite; while tracks like 'The Dead And The Unknown', 'The Martyr's Path' and the title track, 'Where Nightmares and Dreams Unite' explode with some dizzying guitar twiddling, impressive as it might be, it doesn't come up to the intricate showmanship that the Heafy/Beaulieu duo delight in showing off. Equally, Bridge To Solace opts for a more hardcore/metalcore sound, without the melodic choruses that characterise bands like Killswitch Engage and Trivium. Instead, the vocals persistently ooze with aggression, leaving it up to the guitarists to provide a more melodic backdrop, very reminiscent of Swedish metal heroes In Flames.

But ultimately, this is the combination that could see Bridge To Solace hitting the big time; their clever fusion of the best bits of the Gothenburg metal scene and the anger and aggression of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal gives them the exciting and raw sound that results from the mixing of the two - in the current musical climate, this can surely only work to their advantage.