MightyMusic/ Target Distribution (2012)
Forming in 2002, Danish quintet ALooP has only seen one member change in their decade long existence (guitarist Peter Nordahn leaving in 2007, new guitarist Henrik Mortensen), which I believe exemplifies strong chemistry for their metallic focus, vision and clarity. “Dear End/New Deal” is their second album and my first exposure to the band’s sound, which at the core is aggressive and modern with a mix of clean and cut throat vocal approaches. Imagine jackhammer, pulsating rhythms that you’ve heard in Lamb Of God, Pantera, and Mercenary- but the willingness to also inject spices of rock and pop to give the band more of a melodic footprint.
The slow introduction to “Plot to Kill” is an example of this separation from pure sonic assault- the guitar build up against the slow militant percussion piece from drummer Thais Beermann and the atmospheric, soundtrack-like whispering words makes you feel like you are taking in a scary horror movie before the charging electric guitars carry over and Bo Larsen’s penetrating roars win you over. The soloing isn’t scattered shred exercises either- there’s forethought and tastefulness that shows Rene Beck and Henrik study their craft more than most. Much of “Chemical Kiss” and “Masquerade” bring to mind the classic elements of Slayer that guarantee audience participation and kinetic body shifts- as the riff pile channels all your daily stressors from within to an outer world, making you healthier and happier as each song concludes.
Veteran producer Jacob Hansen ensures ALooP the right tone and attacking nature come through your speakers. 12 songs and 55 minutes later with sweat pouring from head to toe, “Dear End/New Deal” will be one of those sophomore albums that will not be forgotten anytime soon, especially if you enjoy musical quality with your anger-infused metal.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composedby Matt Coe