Bandcamp of the Day: Ett Dödens Maskineri

Ett Dödens Maskineri are a Swedish crust punk band, who like all crust punk bands, look to take Western society to task for its greed, exploitation, exclusionary tendencies, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, distrust of foreigners, and various other forms of social morbidity. The ways in which these maladies manifest is apparent to anyone willing to open their eyes, and you probably don’t need an artist, musician, politician, or therapist to tell you what’s wrong with your life and how it is impacted by greater societal ills. But that’s why Ett Dödens Maskineri is the topic of our conversation today. Beyond their penetrating and acute insights, they make some pretty compelling sounding punk rock, which you should hear, regardless of how receptive you are to its message (and I do hope you are receptive to it, but, hey, all you can do is bring a horse to water…)

Det Svenska Hatet is Ett Dödens Maskineri’s debut album and translates to The Swedish Hate in English (in case you skipped the first paragraph and didn’t know what the content of the album was going to be: IT’S ABOUT HOW SOCIETY (in its present form) IS BAD!). The music on this album, to error on the side of simplicity, rocks! This is not an Anti-Cimex styled project where the band drains a case of beer and slams out two dozen rippers in an unfinished basement. This is a professional-sounding album with extremely clear guitar tones and an incredibly strong sense of dynamic rhythm. Ett Dödens Maskineri takes the energy and passion of a band like Totalitär and gives it a hi-fi facelift without losing its shape or integrity of its foundation. Victims also managed this feat on 2019’s The Horse And Sparrow Theory, but while keeping a little bit more of the grimy edge that is often considered crucial to crust punk’s aesthetic. Det Svenska Hatet doesn’t. There is grit on this album, but nothing is lost to distortion or recording restrictions. And as I alluded to before, this actually works to its benefit.

Part of the effectiveness of Det Svenska Hatet is that you can hear literally everything, but most of all the band’s passion for the material. The vocal work is pretty vicious, but instead of sounding like a war cry like Tragedy or a guggling sputter like Martyrdöd, the words expressed are carried by a pained howl, one that highly resembles Ringworms’s James “Human Furnace” Bulloch, but without the resentful overtones. The guitar work tends towards the unraveling spin and thread stripping yank of post-hardcore bands like Thrice with a handful of Quicksand thrown in to get some traction under the wheels. The rhythms that both the guitars and vocals ride are probably the most traditional aspect of the band and do the dirty work of grounding their sound in the crust milieu, switching between a d-beat shove and a mid-tempo blackened doom trot a la mid-career Dark Throne.

While Det Svenska Hatet from start to finish is likely to blow your hair back, and keep it there, the best parts of the album are probably the most nuanced and obtuse. “Sveg” is desperate sounding and terror-stricken, proceeding with as a collapsing, staggering rhythm that sounds like it is trying to outrun a wild animal with a shattered ankle. ” Röda stugor med ruttnande knutar” struggles to breathe while mired in a post-metal fog, and the title track emerges from this miasmic chamber only to have to struggle to keep its skin from being peeled off by the icy winds and stripping bluster of clashing grooves and earth shifting vocal cries. What Ett Dödens Maskineri is doing here, isn’t normal for a crust punk band, it might not even be sane, but it is enthralling in a way that will keep you coming back for more of their polished, serrated scorn.

You can buy and stream Det Svenska Hatet below via Bandcamp:

Get a copy of Det Svenska Hatet on CD and vinyl from Suicide Records here.

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