Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

The tortured groanings of the new Pissboiler record, ‘Att med kniv ta en kristens liv’, is a gruesome, funeral doom retelling of a real life murder in three parts. This EP also contains a 26 minute bonus track, so Third I Rex, Weird Truth Productions and Dying Sun Records are definitely giving you your money’s worth on this collaboration release.

The cold open of ‘En visa för elden’ plays with sinister yet gorgeous pastoral acoustics, before a rumbling and droning fuzz really raises the ominous level. The grinding misery of the title track definitely brings to life the dark and soulless act. It is strange to come across a funeral doom record that really hits you hard in such a short track length. Even the third ‘act’ (‘Pt II – ett avslut’) is only a mere 11 minutes. That 11 minutes is a roiling, torturous monolith however; full of sinister and unnerving moments. The howling vocals, clawing up from hell, drag you down.

The real beast here is the ‘bonus track’, ‘Monolith of Depression’ which at a titan 26 minutes takes up more than half of this EP. It is difficult to describe the journey this takes you on, so I’ll just use words that pop into my head during. Depression. Oppression. Weight. Crushing. Darkness. Finality. But also epic, sprawling and darkly beautiful. It is a perfect analogy for this record; evil, horrible but with a morbid delicacy that requires attention.

https://www.facebook.com/pissboiler/

https://pissboiler.bandcamp.com/

https://3rdirex.bandcamp.com/album/att-med-kniv-ta-en-kristens-liv

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Vanhelga - Fredagsmys

Swedish black metallers Vanhelga released their fifth and most rounded record this June, ‘Fredagsmys’, through Osmose Productions, and it really is a culmination of everything they have built upon since their formation. Vanhelga translates as ‘profane’, and this record explores the darker side of human nature.

Opener ‘Sömnparalys’ is bleak and cold, but is also rife with the kind of Swedish black metal riffs that made Dissection so beloved. There is no shortage of ferocity and black metal tremolo waves, but there is plenty of epic melodies galloping throughout as well. The melancholic ‘Psykotisk Självinsikt’ is a wonderfully evocative piece, oozing with an almost gothic feel. The emotive ‘Ensam Mot Alla’ is a mere drop in a pool of melancholic grandeur, where black metal interplays sadly with gloomy atmospheres. The howling loneliness of ‘Keep the Window Closed’ accentuates the almost My Dying Bride level of misery.

‘Fredagsmys’ is a record that exudes fragility through its ferocity. Fearsome and strong, yet tremblingly weak in places, Vanhelga blends weeping gloom with bleak black metal fury to create a masterpiece. ‘Fredagsmys’ may not be the most ‘pure black metal’ record you’ll here this year, but it could be the most ‘pure’ black metal record. Nothing touches the bleak emotions felt here.

https://music.vanhelga.com/

https://www.facebook.com/officialvanhelga

http://osmoseproductions-label.com/bands/vanhelga/

Wombbath - The Great Desolation

Swedish death metal is, and will forever be, a favourite genre of mine, So many of the seminal bands in my understanding and absorption of death metal have come these frozen shores, and Wombbath have reappeared after an almost 20 year hiatus to bring us their follow up to 2015’s Downfall Rising’. Their ‘Infernal Caustic Torments’ debut in 1993 is a lost gem of the scene, and Wombbath show no sign of letting us forget about them again. It is out now on Soulseller Records!

‘Embrace Death’ instantly forms gratifying memories of chainsawing riffs and howling roars. Everything you could find lurking inside a Swedeath album is here, from the buzzing riffs to the insidious grasp of both speed and melody. Wombbath craft hearty riffing around a powerful bass and drum performance, while the blood gargling roar of vocalist Jonny Petterson is hauntingly perfect for such displays of ferocity. The flailing rage of ‘Harvester of Sin’ is a personal highlight, as is the rampant assault of ‘Cold Steel Salvation’ and the soaring melody of ‘Born of Filth’ but you’d be hard pressed to find a track that isn’t banging.

Wombbath wield these songs like ancient weapons of war, losing none of their original fire while bringing a sense of authenticity to a scene that loves to steal from the icons without proper respect. ‘The Great Desolation’ is a record that fits amongst the greats, not graverobbing all their ideas. Totally recommended.

https://www.facebook.com/Wombbath

http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/

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If there’s one important thing Sweden has brought to the world of extremity, it is DEATH FUCKING METAL of the purest and most heavy persuasion. Enter Crawl, another cog in the endless turning wheel of death, and their full length debut ‘Rituals’, brought to us this August by the finder of endless treasures, Kunal at Transcending Obscurity.

It seems totally unfair to do this, but when Crawl come from a country with a whole litany of iconic death metal bands, you’ll forgive me for mentioning them frequently. But ‘Reject the Cross’ is pure Dismember worship, and it is fucking great. The titanic ‘Trail of Traitors’ also channels the heaviest moments of Grave. The riffs have that almost natural chainsaw tone, the pace is chugging and the vocals are dense. There is more than a dash of crust and hardcore punk about this too however; take the pacey ‘Black Rituals’ or the rampant ‘Cowards’ for example. I mean, the whole album is barely 25 minutes, which is a perfect excuse to slap it straight back on when it is done.

Equal parts chainsawing death metal, crust attitude and a love letter to the days of simpler, savager metal, ‘Rituals’ can stake Crawl’s claim to join the death metal luminaries of Sweden. From a label that has treated Ursinne, Paganizer and Henry Kane so well, they’ll be in good company at TO, and ‘Rituals’ fits straight in with that kind of quality.

https://www.facebook.com/CRAWLSWE

https://tometal.com/

https://crawldeath.bandcamp.com/

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The rerelease of the 2016 debut demo ‘Contra Mundum in Aeternum’ by Swedish black/death/thrashers Flame Acausal is a thing to be celebreated. Originally out on a limited tape and then vinyl run, Blood Harvest Records are bringing us a CD version and it is out now!

Possessed by the most sinister and violent of dark deities, Flame Acausal bring you chainsawing riffs in spades, as ‘Inwards Damnation’ spits forth vile blasphemic metal of death through some truly toxic riffing. The vocals are cavernous sermons of hatred, and the thin production emphasises the rawness of what you are feeling. This is a record that you feel, from the riffing of ‘Shunned Wolves’ like blades up your arms to the severe, hair raising fear instilled by the vicious ‘Thus I Invoke Thee’.

A writhing, thrashing beast of a record that contorts Swedish death and rabid black metal into twisted forms, ‘Contra Mundum in Aeternum’ is savage and unhinged. An atmosphere of morbid dread fill each track, stabbing at you like a rusted blade. Flame Acausal have brought a primal fear back to this genre, something that can be missing these days. This is terrifying music, for horrifying people.

https://bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/contra-mundum-in-aeternum

http://www.bloodharvest.se/

The Malice - Lamashtu

Swedish/German death metal project The Malice’s second EP, ‘Lamashtu’ is named for a Mesopotamian demon of great malice (see what I did there?) and this four track EP is possessed of some pretty demonic death metal. It has been self released by the band through their Bandcamp, and is available now!

Opener ‘In the Light of Asag’ is a writhing beast of brutal blasting and chaotic riffing power. The Malice are very much a modern death metal band; where rawness has been replaced with a cacophonous and devastating heaviness. There are riffs spilling out like lava from the core of these tracks, from the crippling blasting of ‘The Pestilence of Ibra’ to the ravaging display of power in ‘The Nimrud Assignment’. Breaking up the carnage with subtle dashes of eastern instrumentation can only act as a distraction from the powerful death metal within.

‘Lamashtu’ summons the darkened powers of the elder gods and displays it all for us to see. The Malice are a killer band with some serious musical chops, and their modern death metal assault is music to the ears of anyone who loves the Black Dahlia Murder, or actually anyone who just really loves death metal.

https://www.facebook.com/themalicelegions/

https://themalicelegions.bandcamp.com/

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Swedish thrashers Defiatory are ready to release their second record, ‘Hades Rising’ this Friday through Black Lion Records, and it looks to continue the Bay Area worship that their debut, ‘Extinct’ began. This is more of the same chunky, chugging thrash majesty that we have all come to adore from bands like these, and Defiatory are staking their claim for a patch on your denim vest.

As soon as this record begins, you immediately experience this euphoric love of riffs pour over you like a warm wave. There are galloping, thrashy riffs cascading from the speakers as ‘In Hell’ races with a gleeful sense of purpose. This isn’t some tepid rehash of all things Bay Area circa 1985, this is a true representation of how that style has evolved in the 30 odd years it has been around. The savagely quick ‘Metatron’, the chunky Megadeth-esque ‘King in Yellow’ and the pit fodder of the superb ‘Morningstar’ are all perfect examples of how Defiatory are truly inspired and molded by the spirit of San Franciscan thrash. The aggression of their debut is tempered slightly by explorations of melody, but that in no way detracts from the neck snapping chug.

If you enjoy riffs, you will find an abundance in ‘Hades Rising’. This is a record that faithfully preaches the message of thrash without becoming too much of a pastiche. Defiatory’s debut really impressed me back in 2016, and they look to have dropped another soon to be classic. Get thrashed!

https://defiatoryblacklion.bandcamp.com/

https://blacklionrecords.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/defiatory