Hooboy, that album art sure is something, ain’t it?
If I just keep hitting ENTER, maybe eventually the spacing will scroll the page up, and it’ll be off the screen.
Well, it’s mostly gone, at least on my screen…
Album opener “Indifference” rages through its forty-five seconds, letting up from the initial blasting for a groovy tail-section, before “I Ruinerna Av Vår Ensamhat” fully scorches the earth with relentless riffery and world-bashing swagger. You could drive a tank through the groove in the back half of that second track, and it’s simply goddamned infectious. The first of the epic melodies sneaks in with “Disinformation = Facts,” weaving its way around the blastbeats to hook its claws into your ears. The title track steps back a notch with dissonant arpeggios and crushing crusty chords, a mid-album respite from the artillery barrage that is still no less destructive on its own. The intro to “Ritual” bristles with ominosity, its simple staccato two-note riff snapping necks as easily as all the notes that came before, and then… well, then there’s a soundbite from Aliens, so if GRID didn’t already have me sold, Pvt. Hudson just sealed the deal… Album closer “Doomed” sports another of those epic melodic patterns that pushed Livsleda’s closing into the upper atmosphere, that repeated riff ascending even as the blasts fade away beneath and the whole of the album draws down.
Recorded and mixed by bassist Andreas Gren, Livsleda hits hard and fast. The guitars are thick and stout, a razor-edged blade and a blunt instrument combined, and the drums punch like cannons. Performed by the other Andreas (guitarist Backström) on the high end and drummer Frongo on the low end, the vocals alternate between those two extremes, unintelligible screams, of course, but you’d expect no less, wouldn’t you? GRID doesn’t necessarily rewrite any books — they just borrow the good parts, bend them around into something else, and present them back, a new twist on the established formula, and new or not new, it’s damned enjoyable in the end.
With nine songs in twenty minutes, there’s not much time to be world-weary here, and certainly nothing to be world-weary about. Livsleda is a grand entrance for this relatively young band. In terms of production, arrangement, and execution, it’s a marked improvement over 2017’s Human Collapse Syndrome, and a vast one above their first offering in 2015’s Umeå Grindcore.
I’m still not sure about this pink umbilical-noose cartoon that graces the front of this thing, but I am quite sure about those nineteen minutes within, so shut your eyes, open your ears, and get your grind on.