Horndal – Remains

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Assembly Line Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://horndal.bandcamp.com/album/remains
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/horndalmusic/

Band line-up:

Henrik – Vocals, guitars
Pontus – Drums
Fredrik – Guitars
Erik – Bass

Tracklisting:

1. Wasteland
2. Rotting Town
3. Hin
4. Häng Honom
5. The Horndal Effect
6. Fornby Klint
7. Factory Shutdown
8. Drudgery
9. Horndal’s Kyrkogård

Review

Music is a great medium of storytelling, and you can tell the best stories with the right kind of genre – however, sludge metal mixed with pieces of crust punk and hardcore was not what I particularly had in mind for telling a true horror story.

Swedish band Horndal, named after their hometown and whose demise forms the backbone of this album, are a band who’ve taken something I would normally associate with stoner and hippie movements to tell a gritty tale of how their hometown’s livelihood was shut down.

‘Remains’ is the personification of how many Swedes lost their jobs when the local steel mill was closed and they fell into poverty. Horndal have taken the anger, misery and degradation brought on by this disaster to give us some slow but hard-hitting sludge and hardcore metal.

To begin with, this album is a slow-burner; at first I felt it was a bit all-over-the-place with not much direction, but as it progresses towards tracks ‘The Horndal Effect’ and ‘Factory Shutdown’, you find yourself tuned into some decent punk-fused metal at a slower tempo, personifying the slow death of a community.

Guitars and bass are gritty and shredded well like a buzzsaw, drums hammer well into the depths of the brain and the vocals scream and wail like a lost soul starving to death. Overall, these boys have told their story with enough conviction it’ll ring true with anyone across the world who has seen their local community go from prosperity to poverty overnight.

I wouldn’t say this is an overtly political release, but it’s reflective of the times and acts as a warning from history, told by some of the darkest-hearted bards.

Review by

Demitri Levantis

 

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