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Friday, 10 December 2010

Swedish Formality (Livet Som Insats / Raw Hate, 2010)

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Normally when I think of Sweden, I depict fierce cold weather and stunningly beautiful blond women... not Grindcore. Don't get me wrong Sweden has its class acts, but its not necessarily crawling with good Grind bands. Despite these preconceived thoughts of subliminal nationalism, something lucrative has emerged from the profound depths of the northern hemisphere. The Livet Som Insats / Raw Hate split is an upcoming release from both groups of Swedish maniacs that is going to diabolically corrupt your eardrums and possibly inflict tinnitus. Livet Som Insats personally sent this split in for us to review and when the job went up for grabs, I just had to take matters into my own hands.

Raw Hate begin with a flurry of cymbals and a simple punk riff that repeats over a mid-paced alternating drum beat. The Vocals are hoarse yells that really add to the raw punk feel that Sweden is well known for and suit the music really well. The guitar work is a bit repetitive, as is most Hardcore Punk but this seems a bit below average, apart from the occasional random solo. The band provides three tracks that seem to sound quite the same and there is no distinct difference between each. This is normally not an issue for me, but I got bored after a little under the two minute mark. The band overall does an okay job, but its definitely nothing that stands out or that will be remembered. My advice to Raw Hate would be to make it noisier, and a bit more RAW. They seem to have the right idea but need to mix things up a little bit, maybe add in another vocalist. Anyways, that's my take on these guys, moving on to the next.

Livet Som Insats start with a brief drum-thumping intro that quickly turns into a belligerent frenzy of pummeling chaos. The vocals switch constantly from a hardcore yell to an agonizing shriek that is definitely my favorite and used quite frequently. Guitar work is far more Metal then Punk and you can hear a lot of Sayyadina influence in their music. I feel that the guitar should be turned up a bit though, seeing as how the vocals are the main focal point, some of the riffs are pretty catchy and should be turned up enough to really impact the listener. Drums are very nicely recorded and played on this split, my only complaints being that the snare drum sounds too soft and weak like the drums on the Birdflesh album, Alive Autopsy/Trip to the Grave. Overall this is very good, my favorite track would have to be Skuld, due to the sheer amount of ferocity directly from the beginning that smoothly transitions into a head-bobbing groove. I foresee this band going places and I really hope they keep at it and release a full length soon, along with an arsenal of other releases. This split is definitely worth checking out and will make an awesome collector's item when this band gets big in the Grind scene. They definitely have a good mix in their music and keep things interesting, I could totally see this band playing Obscene Extreme Festival alongside with other great bands. Like I said, musically this band is pretty legit, just a few production tweaks need to be made for maximum performance. Livet Som Insats, live on!

- Cody