Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Splitter - En Sörglig Historia [2006]

Band: Splitter
Album: En Sörglig Historia
Genre: Grindcore
Release year: 2006
Label: Obscene Productions
Homepage: http://www.splitter.se/

Sweden; in metal, this Scandinavian country is most often associated with the Gothenburg scene and melodic death metal. This is a shame though, for Sweden has had many other influental, and uglier, bands - need I mention the likes of Nihilist (later Entombed), Dismember and Grave? As we divert from the wellpolished, clean path of melodic death metal, we find a much more gritty beast in the underbelly of Swedish abominations - grindcore.

Swedish grindcore has always carried that special vibe, akin to postmodern black metal. Mournful, cold, and yet curbstompingly brutal. Splitter is indeed one of these bands. After the demise of mighty Nasum in 2005, there were speculations of the torch could be lifted. And fuck me with an IKEA-chair if it couldn't.

The first track, Krossad, kicks in with a barrage of chaos and dissonance, and is hellbent on pummeling the listener into submission. This is of course nothing special in grindcore, but around the twenty-second mark, a change occurs. The aforementioned vibe kicks in, carried by the howling shrieks of vocalist Frederic "Fredde" Thalbeg, and the superbly despairful guitartone of either Niklas Holm or Thimmy Broden. One sees not the brutal, but cartoonesque, gore grindcore usually conjures, but rather a vision of Stockholmian concrete wastelands.

The following tracks follow the chaotic, dissonant attack, only interrupted by sections of bleak despair. While this may sound formularic, it certainly isn't. None of the tracks get boring, since they are all under the two-minute mark, and all have their distinct features; "Status" utilizes a very significant and interesting main-riff, and descends into pure brutality with slower, groovier sections paired with the abyssal growls of Fredde. That man certainly has range. The lightning speed of the songs ensures that the listener gives the record another spin - you want to hear those short, but awesome moments again.

"Tidsinställd Kollaps" is another favourite; much like "Status", it has a very unique mainriff, and a crushing, necksnapping death metal section. Even the drums are different, and sort of jumpy here. "Landets Blinda Undergang" even has a melancholic feel to it, and album closer "En Plats För Alla" features a superb staccato section.

All in all, this EP is the best grindcore I've heard in a long time. Distinct and innovative, yet still belonging to a tradition, this 16 minute long bleak beast gives you a run for your money, and places Splitter at the same level as Swedish grindcore giants Nasum and Gadget. Jävla bra!


- Andreas "I write when I'm sober!" Damgaard

1 comment:

  1. You wrote this while sober? I'm amazed... ;)