The sudden implosion of Sweden’s In Solitude five years ago, just as the aftershocks of their gothic-tinged, 2013 landmark album, Sister, were starting to take them beyond their underground metal cult status, left a growing legion of fans stunned, and a rich seam of potential left unfulfilled.
Tracking the musical whereabouts of its former members since hasn’t been the easiest of tasks, but the candlelit vigils haven’t been in vain, because not only are the sibling frontman and bassist Pelle and Gottfrid Åhman due to return with a new project Pågå, but the band’s lead guitarist – and one of Ghost’s former Nameless Ghouls to boot – Henrik Palm, is also stepping back into the limelight, with a second solo album, Poverty Metal.
Due to be released via Svart Records on October 18, Poverty Metal, is an intoxicating and musically free-roaming beast. Carrying a hint of the angularity and general air of dramatically quizzical quests he brought to In Solitude, it nevertheless roves across post-punk, krautrock and freewheeling, psychedelic territories with a multi-faceted yet singular sense of purpose.
Henrik’s 2017 debut album, Many Days, and his occasional live performances, such as at Roadburn and in support of the equally reality-restructuring Voivod, have garnered fans such as At The Gates’ Tomas Lindberg and Converge frontman Jacob Bannon, and Given Demon, the new video taster for Poverty Metal, offers ample evidence why his music is so highly regarded.
Forged around a huge stomping riff that should get fans of both Queens Of The Stone Age and The Devil’s Blood sniffing the wind, Given Demon still has on off-kilter sensibility – reflected in the cryptic yet compelling visuals directed by one Chris Shonting.
“Given Demon was the last song written for the album,” says Henrik himself.” I just wanted to have a song that ran over the listener. Like a truck. Enjoy!”
For all its catchiness, and rock out sensibilities, Given Demon will still give you the sensation of wondering off the path into an exotic, unfamiliar realm.