Monday, July 7, 2014
This is the bands fifth album and is more mature than previous efforts in some ways, yet still manages to be a pretty nasty beast , this monster has just been cleaned up a bit. These guys are good at what they do and the fate of this really depends on how much you dig what they do, because they stick to their guns for better or for worse.
My Swedish is good enough to tell you the title means "Baptism of Fire" . Lets see what I can do with the rest of the album. The album opens with a thrashy pummeling, though the guitar tones are pretty clean yet the crust label seems to still stick to this band." En jobbigt jnvel" thrashes out from where the momentum of the opener seemed to be headed. It almost sounds more like a transition than a new song. These are all pretty short and sweet right to the point. This riff is pretty tough and they attack it like a punk band , which is where I supposed some of this crust core stuff is supposed to come from.
The pace changes on "Synd" or sin. This is the first song that really catches my ears as the others blazed right past them. The guitars are much more precise and melodic, maybe not as catchy as the last albums riffs, they are pretty mean, even in the more harmonized At the Gates like parts. The raspy vocals are howled more than screamed, sometimes gargled with anger.
"Mer skadda nn nytta" has a little darker feel. The guitars rip into the chug a little harder making this one stand out with a pretty powerful riff, though the rule around here is cool riffs alone don't make a good song, this one comes close to challenging that theory.
If break neck energy is your thing, then this might be right up your alley, but "Paranoia" almost seems to have tighter arrangements, this album just has better sounds. " Prästernas tid" is more straight ahead punkish thrash like the albums first few songs vented off of. It does take a slight melodic break midway into the beating they give your ears. The most solid songwriting shows up on "Victoria" . The lyrics are sung in English. The guitar melodies are actually melodic and if any comparisons to Bathory were going to occur they make more sense here.
"Tentakler" or tentacles rumbles up with an almost doomy intro riff and picks up the pace from there. If break neck energy is your thing, then this might be right up your alley, but "Paranoia" almost seems to have tighter arrangements, this album just has better sounds. "
"Slav Manual" find the snare being spanked at a similar velocity. The guitar riffs are raw and jagged, but until things slow down into hard accents this is hard to differentiate from the other songs, despite the triumphant gallop that rises up from the muck.The title track opens with a more distinctive riff, but the tempo goes back to all too familiar places. The guitars almost get to a pirate like folk metal place further into the song, which I appreciate because the more melody they can bring the better. The howling of the vocals also becomes more emotive on this one.
The blur of raw guitars speeding by continues on "Varningens klockor" or the Warning Bell.This is slightly black metal in the manner this song rips into you. The first guitar solo I have noticed fires off on this one too. Not to say there have not been others that rushed by me. "Steg" or tread is another blur of snare and thrashing jangle, as it doesn't sound as tightly picked as some of the other riffs.There's another solo of sorts that gets somewhat buried.
"Martyren" or martyr, is much more melodic and utilizes then cleaner production to capitalize on their playing. This also brings a more folk or power metal feel to the majestic nature of the songs swell. They summon the kind of restraint that could have come in handy earlier in the album. The growling also seems to pace it'self differently here adding to the dynamics. "Hjnrspiken" has a lower toned resonance to the guitars, though it roars out at a similar speed, The solo does take a more rock n roll approach.
Clean vocals surface on " Under Skinnet". They are slightly buried in the mix and seem to be a woman guesting on this. While there playing doesn't really shift away from what they do the actual singing changes the whole ballgame. Overall I'll give this one a 7.5, if you are a fan go ahead and round it up to an 8. I think they almost key in on some black metal moments the punk simplicity on this has them doing a tango of one step forward one step back.