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Feel Like Hell

The Classic Struggle

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Album Review

In the world of extreme metal, there are different ways to crush a skull. Some bands use death metal or black metal to inflict their savage brutality; others use metalcore as their weapon of mass destruction. And then there are extreme bands that bring all of these things together, which is what the Classic Struggle does on Feel Like Hell. This 2005 release is more metalcore than anything; however, the Myrtle Beach, SC, band liberally incorporates elements of death metal/black metal as well as thrash metal. Lead vocalist Tim Zlinsky usually sings in the metalcore style — that is, his vocal style is a tortured scream. But he sometimes slips into death metal's trademark growl — a deep, guttural, demonic-sounding growl. But the Classic Struggle's lyrics are not death metal nor black metal. Despite the presence of a death metal growl here and a black metal blastbeat there, this is a band that lyrically has much more in common with Hatebreed, Brick Bath, or Throwdown than with In Aeternum or Dark Funeral. The Classic Struggle is a band that — despite an appreciation of death metal/black metal and thrash — is still metalcore first and foremost. What the Classic Struggle does on this dense, ferocious outing isn't groundbreaking by mid-2000s standards; numerous other noisemakers have done this type of thing. Some have done it better, some not as well — and while Feel Like Hell won't go down in history as the most essential metalcore disc of 2005, the Classic Struggle offers a competent (if less than distinctive) dose of sledgehammer brutality.

Feel Like Hell, The Classic Struggle
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