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Knogjärn – Tungrott

by Chris Hicklin at 13 June 2022, 4:17 PM

KNOGJÄRN are a Swedish quartet that were formed in 2015 in the city of Karlstad. They have four full length albums under their belt already and have earned themselves a solid fanbase in their home country. 2022 sees the release of their latest five track EP titled "Tungrott," which if I understand correctly translates to simply "Heavy," a description that is certainly not in dispute. The name KNOGJÄRN itself translates as “Brass Knuckles,” the more observant amongst us will notice a theme emerging. Without committing to the label, they note that people tend to refer to them as a Metalcore act and cite METALLICA and SLIPKNOT as major influences.

The EP kicks off with “Lika mycket som mig” opening with a groove-led isolated guitar riff reminiscent of something Jim Root might come up with, which is quickly joined by Johan Hidén’s drums pounding out a thumping intro, when Kim Eriksson’s vocals kick in, they are raw, angry and powerful on the verses with melodic choruses. The song features an extended breakdown where the band slow down and get even heavier, before picking up again for an explosive finish. “Hur många dagar kvar“offers more in the same vein, with the riffs sounding a little more tribal this time, a bit SEPULTURA perhaps. Again, the verses are guttural roaring, and the choruses a soaring melody.

After an atmospheric intro, “Ger du dig“has an air of hardcore punk about it, Rasmus Sörbom’s bass gets more space to drive the song forward, and hard, fast blasts of drums punctuate the stop/start vocals. Once the obligatory melodic chorus has done its thing the song settles into a slower groove. Final song “Väck mig igen“ is worth singling out as a highlight, Markus Hurtig‘s guitars are a particularly propulsive PANTERA style groove and the chorus a melodic highlight. The song ends as though a turntable were incorrectly set up and lifts off too early, strange but effective, and slightly triggering as there is nothing more annoying in real life.

One cannot doubt the quality of the production on this EP, everything is crisp and clear and very, very dry. There is virtually nothing in the way of reverb used, the guitar tone is brutal and, in your face, but outside of a few introductory passages, never changes across the whole EP. The same can be said of all the instruments which are well recorded but similar across each track. Similarly, the songs all roughly follow a formula, of crushingly heavy, screamed vocals in the verses and cleaner, melodic choruses while guitar solos are apparently off the table entirely. While there is much ingenuity at work in the composition, time signatures and tempos shift while regular breakdowns hammer home the undeniable skills of each musician, the dearth of experimentation in the sounds and textures causes a certain fatigue to set in when listening, even across five songs. That said, the band has nailed their sound and is completely in control of it, it could do with a little more variety, but the sheer energy of the performances is likely to translate very well into stellar live shows.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Lika mycket som mig
2. Hur många dagar kvar
3. Ger du dig
4. Du väljer själv vad du dricker
5. Väck mig igen
Kim Eriksson - Vocals
Markus Hurtig - Guitar
Rasmus Sörbom - Bass
Johan Hidén - Drums
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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