Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Some more reviews...

Moderat Likvidation - Mammutation - CD
It feels inevitable to compare Moderat Likvidation to Mob 47 (not that they sound much alike) since both have made a come-back during the last few years, and not just a reunion tour. It’s always a big gamble coming back after twenty years, but Mob 47 did a marvelous job recreating the same old atmosphere when they released the Dom ljuger igen EP. And after hearing the opening track P.K from Mammutation I was very hopeful.
It’s difficult to believe this is the same Fjalle. His voice no longer sounds like a rabid teenager lashing out at society, but as a life-hardened, pissed off working class man who can’t stand the state of the world. And that pretty much sums up the development of the band. They have twenty years more life experience to draw influence from for their anger, and as a whole the sound has matured a lot. The production is cleaner (and I’m not complaining, but I know a lot of people will) and heavier, the riffing might be a bit more rock-influenced at times (albeit no way near any kind of Motörhead-crustcore) and the musicality has improved.
There are a few moments when you get classic Moderat Likvidation vibes, but otherwise it’s not really the same thing. Not in a bad way, it feels like instead of trying to recapture the old atmosphere and reigniting the old flame they’ve accepted that it’s another band today, and are delivering crust as they want it. The atmosphere of Mammutation is still pure Scanian hatred, and as long as you know some Swedish there are tons of moments where you’ll want to shout along. Tracks like Britta, Mammut and the previously mentioned P.K are really killer tunes. And it’s frenetic old school hardcorepunk, all the way through. Whereas Hål i marken slow things down and go for a more downtuned mood.
It’s a solid album filled with shout along-friendly passages, ferocious vocals and mosh-friendly beats. But nonetheless I think I hold E de punk? as one of my favourites simply for the lyrics. And if you can just accept the fact that this isn’t the teenagers they were back in the eighties I’m sure you’ll love the album. 8/10
//My Last Chapter, Uploaded: 02.06.09

Tortyr - Ingen kommer undan - CD
I certainly enjoyed my first experience with Tortyr, the split with Warvictims. But as they presented quite varied material I wasn’t really sure how they’d sound in the future. With Ingen kommer undan it’s made certain that they’ve trailed the path that fellow countrymen Skitsystem established some years ago.
I’ve read and heard a lot about this album, and everyone says it kicks an incredible amount of ass. But I’m a bit more skeptical, and the reason for that is the sound. Whereas they’ve gone for that ultra-heavy, thick-as-hell wall of sound they’ve gone a bit overboard. The bass (and I don’t mean the instrument bass guitar) in the mixture is overpowering, and I actually have to turn down the bass and increase the treble ‘cause the rumbling was giving me a headache. And the sound keeps bugging me throughout the album. Take for instance the opening track, and coincidently the title track, which has a killer guitar line working in the background. But it’s almost impossible to hear over the rumble of the bass. It’s like a dirty version of Aktiv Dödshjälp’s 4:48 production gone haywire. I haven’t heard anyone else complain about it, so maybe I’m the one with problems, but to me the sound is a big problem.
On to some brighter moments of the album, ‘cause it’s certainly not all bad. It’s quite frankly rather the opposite, as it’s a potent display of metal-flirting crustcore in the vein of said band; Skitsystem. Just put on Jag faller and listen to the riffing, if that’s not classic Skitsystem riffing I don’t know what is. Or fastforward a little more than a minute into När allting svartnar and give it a listen. They’re definitely not trying to hide their influences. But it has its diversities, and it’s not a copycat album as it may seem. I really love the brief tempo-changes in Pissjobb, speeding things up and almost hinting towards blasting. The vocals are fairly bright, harsh screams, giving tiny hints towards black metal. Which in return makes me think of Hotbild, and Tortyr has a certain something that reminds me of them. The lyrics are bleak, ominous reflections of depression, dealing with angst and death in all kind of manners.
I like it; there are a lot of hooks, great guitar lines, a very driving tempo and a cold, harsh atmosphere reeking of hatred. And let’s not forget the raging backup vocals that just rips through your soul. But, as I said earlier the sound bugs me, and that’s highly unfortunate. 7/10
//My Last Chapter, Uploaded: 02.06.09

Warvictims - Dogs of war - 7"
Yet another Warvictims 7”. If they keep this up they’re gonna surpass Agathocles in 7” releases (and unlike said band Warvictims don’t release the same songs on ten different splits, not yet at least). However the similarities end there. This is no way near any kind of mincecore, as this is certainly hardcorepunk to the core.
The lads seem to have developed a little bit since last I heard them. Not that they’ve gone all fancy pansy, but this sounds more true to the roots of the genre. It lingers more towards Discharge than Warcollapse (that I’ve compared them to on several occasions in the past). It might just be that the vocals aren’t as growled as before, and sounds a bit more like a dark, harsh scream. And the gnarly backup vocals aren’t as in your face either. So there’s at least some change, or development if you’d like.
But I’m certainly not complaining, so don’t take it the wrong way. Warvictims can’t seem to go wrong, they just keep on delivering pounding old school crustcore filled to the rim with shout along-friendly choruses. Sure, they’re not re-inventing the wheel or taking the genre to new heights and extremes. But they know how to perform simple, killer d-beat tunes. The riffing is repetitive (in the same song, that is) and the lyrics are just tiny bits about war, but the end-result will still have you shouting ‘how many more must die’ at the top of your lungs. Effective and to the point. 8/10
//My Last Chapter, Uploaded: 02.06.09

Warvictims - Dogs of war - 7"
Otto von Bismark citeras i konvolutet: ”Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war”. Det är mycket tänkvärda ord. Men skulle Warvictims ha varit med och utkämpat ett krig hade de (precis som bandnamnet också tydligt antyder) varit just den där soldaten som med glansig blick mötte den slutgiltiga sömnen och avskräckte andra från att plocka upp vapnen.
”Dogs of war” låter nämligen som en liten trupp som går ut i strid med ett självförtroende som gravt överskattar den egna förmågan. Som upplagt för att slaktas. Eller omskrivet till musikaliska termer: Warvictims harvar klyschig kängpunk utan finess som trots att de själva nog tror det inte har en chans att mäta sig mot särskilt många inom scenen.
Orkestern satsar friskt, men genom sina fyra snabbt avverkade kompositioner lyckas de aldrig få fäste. Jag himlar mest med ögonen över gamla nötta ackordföljder som jag hört mängder av gånger förut och inte vill höra igen. Det finns liksom ingen relevans eller spänning i den punk Warvictims bjuder på. Punk bara för sakens skull har aldrig varit särskilt kul.
Således är ”Dogs of war” en särdeles onödig sjua och kan inte Warvictims bättre än så här är de ett särdeles onödigt punkband. 2/5
//Mikael Mjörnberg, Joyzine. 090531

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