Tuesday, 5 August 2014
I don't know if anyone remembers my VERY enthusiastic post on Gothenburg, Sweden's Swordwielder way back in March 2013? If not you can go read it HERE I had been anticipating the album "Grim Visions Of Battle" (pictured above) big time as the day i got the demo i played it back to back about 6 times as i just could not get through my head how great these guys were and how they were not being talked about by everyone i know!! I had been in touch with Walle from Swordwielder a lot cos I'm one pestering bastard when I really like a band! Anyway I eventually got the album earlier this year on CD and was blown away I asked the band for permission to upload it but as they had LP's and CD's to sell they didn't exactly say no but a reluctance was felt and i wouldn't go against a bands wishes especially one as good as these guys as I felt they deserved the chance to recoup as much as they could before anyone started giving it away free! So i had kinda forgotten about blogging it till the other day when I got an email from walle saying they had now put the album on bandcamp for free/pay what you want and NOW I could blog it!
So what you need to know about these guys is unlike their many Swedish contemporaries these guys do not play high speed heavy and fast hardcore what they play is some seriously crushing and epic sounding crust with more than a slight nod to bands like Axegrinder and Amebix now whilst there are many bands who pillage the small back catalogues of these bands for ideas this is not the case here whilst they have obviously studied the sound of these bands carefully they have taken it as a template and created something wholly new but whilst still having the same feel. First off they are way more aggressive and heavy than these bands but they have managed to achieve a heavy sound without overly downtuning the guitars and making it sludgy this coupled with the great production makes the sound razor sharp and everything is very clear in the mix making their driving riffs and builds just soar!
The album has all 4 tracks from the demo re-recorded plus 3 new tracks the re-recorded demo tracks sound MASSIVE here whilst the demo versions were utterly stunning these new versions make them sound fairly tame by comparison and the new songs stay within the framework of the sound but show a LOT of progression and new song "Force Of Nature" is probably the most uptempo moment on the album and sounds like Axegrinder jamming with Celtic Frost (also obviously an influence)
There's not a lot more that can be said these guys are very talented the many twists and turns the songs take you on are a testament to that whilst not overly complicated the music never fails to hold your interest because it never ceases changing and building and overall their driving sound is teeth grittingly brilliant without resorting to heavy riff avalanches or huge walls of sludge like i said they sound razor sharp and you can hear every note! I am glad that these guys play something new and original instead of the variation on a theme that a lot of crusty music has become. They have a wholly original sound that just drives and entertains all the way through and I lack the words to fully describe how brilliant they are. This album is one of those that feels like a journey but it's a journey through fog drenched battlefields the clangor of steel charging hoards of angry norsemen and the crunch of axe on bone and by the time you get to the feedback at the end of the near 10 minute closing track "With My Dying Breath I Curse This World" if you are anything like me it will have left you exhausted, with a huge fucking grin on your face and reaching for the play button to start it all over again!!
These guys have mastered the sound and feel created by their influences and made it into something new for those of you too young to remember the shock of hearing "Arise" or "Rise Of the Serpent Men" for the first time! This is one of my top 10 albums i have heard this year and I can't recommend it highly enough I haven't been listening to much heavy/crust type music of late but this has been getting heavy rotation since the day i got it! This band deserves to be huge they have more ideas in one of their lengthy songs than most bands can muster over a whole album! The world of underground music needs bands like this. WIELD THE SWORD!
Swordwielder - "Grim Visions Of Battle" - Bandcamp