We Sell The Dead - Heaven Doesn’t Want You And Hell Is Full album review

Jack the Ripper’s mooted influence on metalheads is fortunately minimal

Cover art for We Sell The Dead - Heaven Doesn’t Want You And Hell Is Full album

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Jack the Ripper in a metal band was the concept which drew these Swedish scene veterans together. Maybe ‘Saucy’ Jack’s rape-murders lost something in translation, but questions of taste are anyway disarmed first by the Hammer ham of opener The Body Market, and then by the baffling irrelevance of the notion to the rest of this debut.

Singer Apollo Papathanasio’s day job with Spiritual Beggars’ stoner-metal and guitarist Niclas Engelin’s in the barely metal In Flames gives the clue to We Sell The Dead’s sluggish, brooding lack of heaviness or threat. The lushly melodic Echoes Of An Ugly Past, Papathanasio’s florid crooning during Too Cold To Touch’s crisis of faith and Trust’s redemptive, church-style organ are instead typical.

This band’s daring isn’t in Victorian splatter, but wrestling with isolation and depression and, in tracks such as Imagine, proudly yearning for better.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).