Martyrdöd, Sweden’s long-time practitioner of crusty metal and d-beat, returns in blazing militant form with Paranoia. The band’s first album for new label Southern Lord (purveyor of significant amounts of such filth) is its fourth overall. Featuring members from acclaimed hardcore, crust and metal bands such as Skitsystem and Miasmal, Paranoia is a potent blend of dissonant brutality, stained with cutthroat melodies.
Recorded at the renowned Studio Fredman, site of many legendary metal creations, the 11 tracks layer a blackened crust of metal atop spitting hardcore punk. Opener, “Nog är nog”, is five minutes of the infamous boot stomping on the face, and from there, it’s a brute-strength fusillade throughout. Thankfully, Martyrdöd injects plenty of warped harmonies into its salvos, unafraid to splice the hooks where necessary (see “Hör Världens Rop” and “Ett Hjärta Av Eld”). Conversely, it sculpts overwhelming deluges of seething rock-and-roll nastiness (see “Köttberg” and “Det Sker Samtidigt”).
The d-beat and crust scenes tapped into metal’s arteries for sustenance long ago (and vice-versa), and Martyrdöd’s incorporation of metal into its sound is pitch perfect. Certainly, as far as producing an annihilating Swedish crusty assault goes, Paranoia is close to top of the list for 2012.