Mummy, the scary men are shouting and screaming and scaring me! Look Mummy, they’ve got scary pictures of skulls on their CD! Mummy? MUMMY!
Don’t be scared kids, really. Sure, Sweden’s Nine are on the wrong side of hospitable music-wise for most of their latest album – all blood-curdling vocals and chugga-chugga guitars the size of tanks – but give them a while and you’ll find them more than tolerable. In fact, give ‘Killing Angels’ a handful of plays and you’ll soon discover subtle melodies and nuances that you never heard before, nor ever expected. Opener ‘Inferno’ snarls with typical hardcore ferocity, but ‘Euthanasia’ reveals the band’s metal tendencies – a little like Darkest Hour. The album treads a familiar course for its first six tracks, but takes an unusual turn come ‘Anxiety Report’, with effect-laden vocals and more reserved instrumentation giving the song a truly epic feel. The change in direction is echoed in the sentiments of the lyrics: “It’s all been seen before/I cannot stay here anymore”. Closing track ‘Them’, featuring LG Petrov of Entombed, is also a high point, with a spine-chilling intro worthy of any contemporary horror movie soundtrack.
Some of ‘Killing Angels’ will be hard to stomach for those not overly taken with hardcore or metal, but with its typically Scandinavian feel (note the echoes of early-Refused and Breach throughout), its accessibility becomes more and more apparent with each listen. A real grower.
7Mike Diver's Score