Bullethole - Incarceration
Black Lotus Records
Thrashcore with Nu-Metal influences
10 songs (32'10")
Release year: 2003
Black Lotus
Reviewed by Alex

One famous Soviet poet made an excellent remark once. In a way that is more poetic than I am quoting below he said: “I can truly feel the spread of our culture across the globe when I can read Russian graffiti in the public restroom in Paris”. It is safe to say it means that not all aspects of the culture deserve to be exported. It looks like some American nu-metal breeze has made it to Greece and is beginning to materialize in the form of Bullethole.

Bullethole was formed in 1999 by Costas and Andreas. Known originally as Human Decay the band changed their name to Bullethole and produced their debut Incarceration on Black Lotus Records after some line-up changes. Two founding members, Costas on vocals, and Andreas on guitar are joined by Kiriakos on bass and Leyteris on drums.

The band plays a brand of heavy and aggressive thrashcore with obvious nu-metal influences. Some heavily downtuned riffs form the backbone of the music with monotonous screamy vocals coming over the top. The passion, anger and aggression are there, but those qualities alone do not an album make. The promo sheet says the band is a fine mix between The Haunted and Hatebreed. In my opinion, The Haunted is melodic when it has to be, fast and highly technical death/thrash. What we have on Incarceration is a mid-tempo, short on melody, monotonous chug-chug. Hmm, what about the comparison then? Just another one of those label stickers to make you buy a CD? Some moments on Incarceration do stand out, such as cerebral Nothing Will Remain and the intro plus the main riff of Moment of Hate. Easily the best moments on the CD. The rest of the songs just drag along although the compositions are not lengthy at all. Occasional good guitar solos do not save the overall compositions. After a while it becomes so repetitive, you are looking for a fast forward button. Clunker Drowned is a prime example of filler.

The production on the CD does not do the band any favors. I can take the screamy vocals. After all it is hardcore, and the aggression in Costas’ voice fits the mood. Guitar and bass are very thick, and would be enjoyably groovy if the riffs were more inventive. The drum production is what ruins it all. If you a let a rabbit jump across the empty plastic cans and recorded the sound, it couldn’t be worse. Periodically, the drums get buried entirely. Incidentally, the best percussion performance comes on the instrumental closer Molestias where hand timpani are used. It is audible and mixed right.

If violence in lyrics makes you squeamish don’t read the booklet. “Twist the knife to the fucking bone”, “You muthafuckin’ creep I’m gonna make you bleed I’m gonna make you die Don’t dare to ask me why” – just to give you an idea. Yup, somebody definitely hung around too much around gangs in some American downtown getto. Still, I’d overlook this lyrical style if music was above average.

I doubt I will be interested in the follow-up to this energetic but hollow debut, unless somebody convinces me that Bullethole came up with better songs next time around.

Killing Songs :
Nothing Will Remain, Moment of Hate
Alex quoted 45 / 100
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