Halshug- Blodets Bånd

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Southern Lord had one hell of a lineup last fall, with releases from Martyrdöd, Baptists, Obliterations, and Torch Runner all destroying everything in their path. 2015 looks to be no different, and the label is starting things off with a healthy dose of punk in the form of Halshug’s debut full length Blodets Bånd. The Danish band has only been around for a few years, but their debut is a convincing statement that flies by fairly quickly and leaves one hell of an impact in the process.

Blodets Bånd may only be seventeen minutes long, but Halshug is able to channel so much raw energy on every song that you’ll likely be hitting the repeat button as soon as the last song finishes playing it. Stylistically they’re pulling from familiar territory, coming in somewhere between punk’s edgy roots and the crustier, abrasive variants that came shortly after, but the way that the instrumentals pull these influences together certainly does them justice. While there may not quite be as much variation between songs when this group is compared to some of the more established in the genre, I still found quite a few leads that got under my skin and had me ready to start running around breaking things. The shorter length does help with this issue, as Halshug has just enough variation to avoid becoming too repetitive and the sheer amount of power behind the instrumentals makes this a great adrenaline rush. Unlike some of their peers, rawness doesn’t mean that the riffs are buried underneath a giant wall of noise either, which helps some of the nuances to break through.

The vocals hit even harder than the instrumental work, which is one of the main reasons that Blodets Bånd reaches such an intense level. They’re drenched in just the right amount of reverb and come through as a slightly lower pitched scream/snarl that completely towers over the rest of the sound and punches you right in the chest. It does help that the album has been recorded and mixed in a way that allows the vocals to be so dominant, but even if this weren’t the case I think that Halshug’s singer would still find a way to burst through the sound. This is one area of the group’s music that they should continue to emphasize, as they have a vocalist who can deliver an overwhelming amount of intensity and aggression from beginning to end.

As with most debuts, Blodets Bånd leaves Halshug with plenty of room for growth as they continue to find their own niche in this genre. But this is still one hell of a statement and these guys do the raw punk/hardcore sound better than most bands that have only been around for a couple of years. Throw this one on and turn the volume up, as it’s got that abrasive edge and overwhelming amount of power that makes this type of music so damn enticing. I’ll be keeping an eye out for Halshug in the coming years, as it seems likely they’ll only get better from this already killer starting point.

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