Stockholm’s Grieved are as Swedish as meatballs and flatpacks, the country’s uniquely dark and chilly brand of hardcore running through their self-titled new album like a remote, frost-fringed river close to freezing point.
And an emotionally raw experience it is too, frontman Marcus Lundqvist laying his soul bare as he howls his demons into the world, a despairing Turn Cold (‘Watch me fail, watch me resign from everything’) seeing him cast out into the forest and left to rot.
Sludgy, leaden opener Oraque charges in with a heaviness that states they mean business, bleeding seamlessly into brooding highlight Fogbound that’s as charged with atmosphere as it is emotional. The downside? It’s not exactly innovative, but if you’re a fan of tales of torment brought feverishly alive, there’s plenty here to enjoy.
But for a scene so proud of being on the fringes of society, blackened hardcore can play a little close to its own rules at times. Grieved is, however, beautifully crafted and suggests the best is yet to come from this band.