ALBUM REVIEW: ALARM! –

4/5

ALARM group Armageddon LabelSweden’s Victims are considered stalwarts who represented d-beat for two decades. With hardcore coursing through their veins, members could not relinquish their source of venting frustration and ire. ALARM! were birthed in Stockholm, Sweden when three Victims members, Gareth Smith (guitar), Andy Henriksson (drums), and Jon Lindqvist (bass; also of Nasum) banded together not churn up nostalgic quips or old material but to create a new vehicle. ALARM! accomplishes everything they set to do by stripping down the d-beat atmospheric qualities. ALARM! decided to play hardcore punk that is unrelenting ferocity. ALARM! is unsettling enmity and disillusioned spite channeled by four veterans of the trade.

After a year, Jon Lindqvist switched from guitar to bass so the three could start jamming and writing the songs on ALARM!. In need of a vocalist, Jon recruited his old friend, Henrik Linqvist from their late ’90s band, Outlast. The two decided to eschew the crust and execute a more focused hardcore sound. Some melodic tendencies add texture among the distortion and frenzied playing. The songs are fueled by an incensed and heightened indignation. The rage is not tempered as it explores internal suffering and external politics and war.

There is nor would be no other label which would make more sense than Providence, RI’s Armageddon Label. In sonic savagery and spirit, they had to be ALARM!‘s home. 2023 saw the band synchronize their members with a bevvy of homeland shows with bands such as Chain Whip, Nukies, and Sharp Tongues. Then, this year began in Spain with Barcelona’s Enchastre. ALARM! is devastating, captivating, and inspiring. Nine tracks guide us through a bell curve of track times, centered on the 3:33 “Ancient Cycles”‘ which means the sequencing paces the album perfectly. The album is bookended by the opener, “Into The Dark” (1:32) and the closer, “Never Enough” (:59).

ALARM! crank out killer tracks here. They shine with blazing speed on “Bring Books”. But ALARM! equally delivers exacting tenacity on a slow, plodding “Me and Failure”. Thirty seconds of feedback yields a taut metallic riff over pounding thuds of bass and drums. As the tension hammers away, screams of regret fill the air. At :90, ALRM! swings into a slow, sludge section that continues for the last minute of the song. Following that is “The Loop”, which swings with another thick sludge rhythm. The dissonant miasma focuses on a meandering bass line. The bass continuously is given a strong presence via production. ALARM! was recorded and mixed by Linus Björklund at Studio Ryssviken. While the sinister, scathing rasps of Lindqvist’s vocals were recorded by Markus Sana-Johnsson. Then to weave his Midas Touch, the record was handed to by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege for mastering. And he did what he always does.

ALARM! arise out of the ashes and provide fans with a rebirth from the lauded Victims. I am positive fans of Victims will be impressed and appreciative, while also reveling in the splendor of a new band. The talent, skill, and relentless vicious execution is fodder for fostering the frustrations of this existence. The arrows in the quiver here are the daunting elements such as speed, measured elongated sections, noise, distortion, and fortitude. Static and textured guitars add to the unbridled savagery. ALARM! is a bold initiation and promising of good things to come.

VINYL:
Armageddon version: pink / back merge, 400
ALARM! version: Side A, pink vinyl with black/grey edges; Side B, grey and black vinyl.

Buy from Armageddon Label or ALARM! bandcamp.

Follow ALARM! on facebook
Delve into Armageddon Label on bandcamp and spend your money at Armageddon Shop mailorder with over 19,000 records, tapes, CDs, books, etc of metal, hardcore, punk, indie and more.

You can also read my interview with the owners of Armageddon Shop here on New Noise from  2017.

Stay Connected
Subscribe
Knocked Loose

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

 Learn more