Hotet Från Skogarna is a brand new compilation out of the wild jungle of Östersund. A hardcore and punk compilation, featuring a bunch of newer bands and some older. It’s a 100% D.I.Y-compilation, with a little help from Sensus, Estrad Norr and Ösd Mangel. With the purpose of enriching the music climate in Östersund and the region as a whole. So, now that you know the background story, lets get to it!
First, let me tell you how awesome this cover is. It’s made by Maya Westlund and surely fit the songs like a glove. A depiction of “betongdjungel”, as we call it in Swedish, blended in with a more traditional Norrland-feeling too it. Makes me want to go there even more, since I haven’t been there for ages. With clouds coming in from above, darkening the picture even more. It’s understandable why it got this depiction, and I understand it even more when listening to the songs on the album. It looks inviting and represents it’s name well. Generally you can be turned off by the cover, but luckily this isn’t the case at all. I generally feel that the cover art manages to blend simplicity and detail, making the cover enjoyable to look at. I’m hoping to see more of her work in the future. Kodus to you, Maya.
As I’m somewhat of an outsider – this review will be conducted from that point of view. It’s interesting to note that the first track “Lev Som Förr” (Live Like Before) by Grundskolan kicks it off in a humorous vein, with the drummer doing something wrong. Accompanied by some well-thought breakdowns throughout the song, and a singer with a hoarse-kind of voice that reminds me of the more oldschool vein of hardcore. With that said, the singer complements the music very well. The drummer kicks it up a notch and gives us some well-tempered mangle. “Lev som förr – lev på riktigt!” – “Live like before – live for real!“.
The transition in between the first song and the second is really good. Second song, “Valfrihet” (Freedom Of Choice), starts off in a really fast tempo, with the singer shouting: “Inga val – inga bekymmer!” – “No choices – no worries!” – changing the tempo somewhat, firing off the armada of insane riffs with a right in-your-face attitude. I’m starting to like this already. Surely, these two first tracks are a good introductory to what this is all about. Sounding like the D.I.Y-compilation that it ultimately is, with a soundscape that transgresses lo-fi but doesn’t sound too polished.
Now, moving into another territory, Brottskod 11 kicks it off with an almost black-metal inspired (or sounding) song by the name “Samma Brott” (Same Crime). With an even more distorted bass, shrieking vocals and a soundscape that would give the words “raw” and “primitive” the shivers. The more it progresses, the more you can decode the black metal (but mainly crusty) influence. Good riffs overall and good variation in between the drops and change of tempo. The middle section of the song is my favorite, when the stampeding drums are waiting in mangle-position for the riffs to fly in and kick some ass. This song surely manages to kick some freakin’ ass, all the way from Östersund to good ol’ USA.
Lets move into the next section, from the same band, with a song titled like this: “Övervåld” (Assault). This song have a somewhat sharper sound, making the cymbals sound like big chunks of ice hitting the floor. Or a glass-shattering piece of equipment, may be a better description. If the first song was hell, this would be when you’ve completed hell and entered ultrahell. Because, this song has it all. Blending in all the influences and creating magic, straight-up furious and hard-hitting crusty hardcore the way you’d want it. I’m (in particular) fond of the overall soundscape, it sounds raw like hell and almost everything is hearable, a big plus.
So – by now when you’ve had your dose of mangle, you might want to turn it down a notch. I think the placement of the “waking-up” section, i.e. Grundskolan and Brottskod 11 was a good one. Making up for a return from hell and into more humane regions. Enter the world of Moron Express, a nice blend of college-punk with a twist of the more primitive side of punk. But their first song “Endless Road” is in the more melodic vein, with good build-ups and a good singing voice that fits in the overall picture. Lets call it: toned-down mangle. But that wouldn’t be deserving for their first contribution, since the overall feeling of it is a blend of the more raw and primitive – but without a total chokehold. The chorus is really, really good.
Sure, it might be a softer sound – but fear not, because here come their second song named “Prick“. Delivering us into the more primitive, but yet melodic field that they’ve displayed. Only thing is – this song gives more room for the raw and primitive vein of it. Maybe not as good as the first one, but it surely deserves the mention.
Before you know it, the harder vein strikes back in the shape of News From The Front, which I accidentaly mixed up with Moron Express to begin with. Their first song “Välkommen Till Helvetet” (Welcome To Hell), conveniently returns you to hell. Even though it’s the slower form of hardcore, it’s raw and primitive but not too much. Making the anticipation higher for each drop and they manage to settle it down a notch, before turning the heat up and hitting the nail on the head each time. When you think it’s going to get boring – think again, this is nothing else than a synergy of the best elements of punk, hardcore – somewhat threading into the doom-section. “Välkommen till helvetet, välkommen till verkligheten” – “Welcome to hell – welcome to reality!“.
Returning to the human realm, we’re faced with yet another challenge from hell, namely the second song “F.O.I“. Accompanied by a crunchy and mildly distorted bass in the introductory passage of the song, the slowly driven riffs and drumming blends into a rhythm that feels like a Salsa-section (don’t ask me why). Though I loved that section. After that, all hell is unleashed. With the singer shrieking: “Oskyldiga offras” – “Innocent sacrifice” (roughly), but I can’t really depict the rest of it. They also utilize a back-up singer that makes the variation more explicit and noticeable, which turns out to be great. Later on, a more rock-inspired riffs lay the foundation of it. I really like the blend of slow and saturated riffs in contrast to the faster ones. The soundscape is a bit lo-fi, but it adds to the mysterical and more ghastly experience of listening to it.
So – all in all, Side A is quite enjoyable. It seems like the order of the songs are placed with care, making it even better to listen to. Everything feels like it’s in place and the variation is great. From crusty blackness, college-punk, primitive punk into a more doom-metal inspired hardcore mayhem. Therefore, this side of the record receives a well-earned 8 out of 10.
Time to enter stage B. Within it, the first song is “Knivens Kamp” (The Knife’s Struggle) conducted by Djävulskap. They pretty much sound like a more lo-fi sounding version of News From The Front. But since that won’t bring them any justice, they also manage to pull of their song with vocals from the depths of hell. Introducing, once more, black metal-influenced riffing – and later on also drumming. Say what you want, but I think it sounds like they’re trying to climb the ladder out of hell, struggling as they make their escape for a less forsaken place. Somehow, the singer reminds me of Kvelertak, but that could be because this sounds like Norweigan if you’re not concentrated. Great song overall and not so many flaws, perfectly reasonable introduction.
Well, this could very well be Kvelertaks little brother, using it as a compliment. The more rock-induced second song “Osd Blodbad” (Östersund? Bloodbath) makes the singer pull of a pretty humouros piece: “Låt blodet rinn-ahh” – “Let the blood flow-ahh“. A pretty interesting rock-themed song with vocals fitting for a dead rockband returning from the grave. Somehow it feels like a blend of death metal and deathrock vocals, humorously put into rock. But I like it a lot, the build-ups are great and the flow is streaming on even better later in the song, with appropriate solo-riffing. Or guitar-wanking, as some people like to call it.
Hopefully you’d made it this far by now, and now one of my most anticipated bands for this compilation make their entry. No more, no less: The Dead with their song “Ta Din Plats” (Take Your Place). A pretty short but interesting song, I really like the dialect this band is using. I don’t really know where to place it, but it sounds like everyones favorite The Kristet Utseende. So maybe they’re dialectally from the same place. Short, but good punk-piece with the vocals being the most enjoyable part of it. Not that the rest of the song is bad, but it reminds me of good times.
Their second song “Dom Som Tjänar Mammon” (They That Serve Mammon) is a good ol’ piece of mangle with a punk-rock touch. Not too much can be said about this one, but it overshadows the first one pretty much. This one also being short, but even more up-tempo than the first one due to the vocals. Or at least, it feels more up-tempo. I really like the scrawny bass in this one and the build-up before shouting: “Dom Som Tjänar Mammon“. I’ll gladly serve mammon after this, or… I mean: The Dead.
Ok, now it’s time for the swine from Heroinmissbruk to shine bright. Their first song “Aprak Och Full Av Hat” (Shit-faced? And Filled With Hate) break the more calmer punk-rock atmosphere. This is total hate, this is total mangle and this is fury from below. As many times before, I’d love to have some other words for total hell. But this surely is total hell, unleashed at it’s prime. I dig the crustiness and switching song is a bid no-no.
The second song is pretty much in the same vein, titled: “Blandmissbruk” (Mixed Abuse?). But it sounds good and has a lot of variation, fast drumming and everything you can expect from mangle. I really dig the vocals too, it’s hard to describe it though. Mixing both background growls with hardcore-screaming. The riffs are pretty insane and distorted, see you in the mosh!
Now we’re going to enter the world of Thräshers, in their first song “Skrotåldern” (Junk-Age?) they put good use to the widespread hardcore-“GO!” in the beginning. With clear 80’s hardcore influences, mixed with a faster pace of 90’s hardcore. Their second song “Ät Skit Och Dö!” (Eat Shit And Die!) is even faster and goes straight in the oldschool swedish hardcore vein, but with a hint of 80’s american hardcore. A recommendation for every kid out there in need of discovering that face of hardcore needed to understand the geniousness of this one. All-in-all pretty straight-forward and filled with attitude, short as it should be but still adrenaline-pumping. Side B deserves a 7 out of 10.
Well, this is the first time I review a compilation. It took some time, but I’m finally done with my decision. This compilation is really good, normally compilations of this size only hold about a maximum of 2-4 really good tracks and the rest is a “meh”-experience at best. So, they’ve outdone themselves in this compartment. I also like the blend of different sub-genres, like regular punk, crust, black-metal influenced hardcore, regular hardcore, college-punk and oldschool hardcore. So that’s a plus. The only negative thing about this compilation is that the mangle sometimes can get the best of you, but that’s just because I’m a wuss. But yeah, on a more serious note, it can become quite overwhelming at times. Otherwise, I think this project and compilation deserve all the praise it can get. A very good end-result with something you’ve probably struggled to make as good as possible, kodus to you for doing this and making it this good. Hopefully the rest of the country will be inspired by this and create their own D.I.Y-project. I’m looking forward to future releases of this kind, and hopefully it won’t be too long until there’s a vol. 2 of this compilation. If not, then I’ll at least hope for another compilation made by the same people. Good work, guys and girls!
Album Art: 8/10
8.5 out of 10 is the final verdict.