A D-beat lover's aural Heaven.
Matters of geography and specific band location are irrelevant in today's technological age. Influence and inspiration is gathered and equally gained at the convenient click of a button. However, the appeal of Scandinavian music still contains a somewhat greater charm. Whether it's the malevolent, let's shack up in a cavernous, snow covered cabin in the woods type of black metal or music that makes you want to sail the fjords in a Viking styled homage, albums from Northern Europe are always interesting.
Hailing from Copenhagen, upstarts Halshug are unrestrained and determined. Raw, engaging and imposing, new album 'Blodets Bånd' (that's 'Blood Band' for those playing at home) is a D-beat paradise. Supporting the above sentiments, "Scandinavia" and "hardcore" are really the only keywords needed as a selling point here. This is a record that doesn't quietly ask for your time, it forcefully demands it.
Still relative young on the career timeline, these Danish heavy-hitters have an apparent fondness for the traditional D-beat and crust styles. The sound is a crossover hybrid - even parts punk and hardcore. Someone has clearly been jamming a lot of Discharge and Anti Cimex in their bedroom.
Unapologetic, these eight tracks are offered in similar form. The music is incredibly rough around the edges so the entertainment comes for the delivery more than other notable factors. With no track coming close to the three minute mark, it's short, sharp and precise.
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'Gudsforladt' is reflective of a band that appreciates intensity, with follower 'Afmagt' bass heavy. The album quickly moves its way through, with late moment 'Total Destruktion' the point where the record peaks. The aforementioned track is an ideal point - shameless, filthy and heavy.
While never losing focus, the full-length is let down by a lack of discerning difference. Admittedly, this style of music doesn't require much variation, but the tracks do blend into each other when combined in the overall collection.
Halshug are still fresh-faced and 'Blodets Bånd' plays out that way. Packed full of energy, lacking a little polish, but still hitting its intended marks, this full-length, while probably tailored more for a live setting, is a useful addition to the album pile.
With a band name that translates to 'Decpaitate' you pretty much know this isn't going to be for the timid of ears. 'Blodets Bånd' is a pleasant introduction and should welcome many new fans to the Halshug party. Play it loud or don't bother at all.
5. Blodets Bånd
6. Total Destruktion
7. Yderste Rand
8. Kvælende Frygt