Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bränd Jord - Ledan & eländet / Förstärkta defekter

Written by Majbritt Levinsen.

Ledan & eländet (ennui & misery) by Swedish band Bränd Jord (scorched earth) is a very intense and interesting album. The variety of melodies and styles you'll find cramped into the 12 tracks is impressive and makes the album memorable. You'll hear angsty vocals with bleak lyrics accompanied by a highly energetic, raw and melodic mixture of Black Metal and a hardcore-punk-ish attitude and a whole lot of progressive touches.

Bränd Jord manages to capture the internal struggles of life’s hardships that on the outside only shows as total resignation to the fact that you are stuck on life's bottom level or the depths of your own troubled mind. The cover for this release couldn't have been chosen more successfully. "Beim Dengeln" (whetting the scythe) by Käthe Kollwitz from 1905 depicts the core of Bränd Jords lyrics, as she documented the lives of the less fortunate by capturing harrowing moments of despair, inconsolable loss and devastating feelings.

I have had a hard time choosing tracks to point out as each track has their moments of brilliance and something worth mentioning. "Bittert flöde" (bitter flow) the opener actually almost made me burst out in laughter, there is something in the manic drumming and the frantic pace of the track from the get go that caught me of guard. I wasn't expecting it and as the track progressed I got more and more curious how this would evolve. I love to dive down in the layers of this kind of music and let myself get carried away on the bass’ frequencies while the drums holds the pace and the guitars coats everything in while the vocalist tells his accompanied poetry of despair and anxiety. All of the songs on this album have extremely enjoyable structures and a lot to absorb and digest. They are all a ride you want to rediscover over and over.

The last song on this album "Oduglighetens krona" (the crown of incompetence) however, is one of those I have enjoyed listening to the most. Musically it hits a nerve in me and raises some good emotions from the gut. It is simply a good song to close off an album filled to the brim with the turmoils of the human mind and a lot of musical surprises.

The lyrics orbits around the same theme over and over: an even gray colour palette of troubled thoughts from a troubled soul.
"Potentialen var aldrig något att tala om
Nu är det slutligen för sent
Småsinta, patetiska drömmar
Speglar en futtig existens"

-- "Nollpotential" (zero potential)
The potential however for these 3 guys from Gothenburg is already there, and has proven with this album that the darkest places of the mind can harbour something highly creative, intriguing and enjoyable.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

The 27th of November they released the EP Förstärkta defekter (reinforced defects) containing 4 tracks, which are all just as interesting and varied as the above mentioned tracks and just as highly recommended! I simple love the skewed desperate chaotic structure of "Återvändsgränd" (dead end) and I find myself grinning with joy like a lunatic. This is what makes me happy and drives me to continue exploring the endless universe of music.

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Tagged with 2014, black metal, Bränd Jord, Majbritt Levinsen, progressive black metal
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