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Strykjärn – En jävla massa lidande Award winner

En jävla massa lidande
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 28 January 2020, 8:23 AM

Strykjärn is Swedish for clothes iron. En jävla massa lidande translates to A damn lot of suffering. This is the band’s fifth release, although this is their fourth EP. The last release was in 2014, Tidvattnets likgiltighet. Since then, Micke Kullvén left in 2014 as Lead Vocalist to return in 2018 as rhythm guitarist. Dennis Eriksson also left in 2014 to return four years later. Marco de Smits and Jesper Åström both came in to the band in 2014 and 2016 to leave in 2018. Filip Fougstedt has entered the frame as lead vocalist and this is his work with the band. Lets see what the band has for us.

Söndrad och härskad” has a progressive intro to start, but then explodes into life. The screams build the tempo to a decent level as the instrumental melodies follow suit. The pace is kept up and so is the intensity, it works well even when they take back to build up once more. Heads will bang. It is a solid start to the album; it has so many elements of a time when Melodic Death Metal ruled as a key subgenre, until many bands faded away. Well Played STRYKJÄRN

Allt måste dö” also keeps up the pace, with a Hardcore-style start, its another trick they pull off to perfection. There is a progressive build up from the melodies so it is not as heavy, but they seem comfortable in this style also. It almost sounds like CHIMAIRA’s song “Empire”, which is a great song, so too is this. It’s a great song that is played to full strengths by the band, who seem to be just warming up even though they have already shown us two separate styles.

Utdelning på marginalerna” Is just a full on frenzied short song, nothing seems to be held back, again with the vocals being aggressive and hard hitting, to have the instrumental melodies follow suit. There is no build up as such, just an intense serving of Hardcore mixing with Melo Death, not what I would call Metalcore, but some bands did similar styles for their best work such as HEAVEN SHALL BURN. For such a short song it is pulled off so well, could have gone on a lot longer and I’d still be happy.

Köbildning vid giljotinen” once more starts with seemingly not holding anything back whatsoever. The harmonic Melo Death approach is prenominal. The builds up is seemingly always pushing to hit the next level, but remains fully controlled. The aggression is done so at a level where it can be seen to remain in control, but never removes any intensity.  The melodies from the instrumentalists creates harmonies that have been blended together perfectly, you can really appreciate the hard work they have gone into here.  This style is once again a bit different, but it remains similar in general to the album itself, and when all the songs go together as well as this, you know it is a true brilliant album.

Moderaten” has a perfectly melody of instruments in full display of true talent. The vocals remind me of a mix between SILENT CIVILIAN and AT THE GATES and that is an awesome mix. There is nothing on this that is not 100% effort, nothing is half-assed. The melodies sink into one another perfectly to create harmonies that will keep heads banging and interest levels peaked.

Spegelsalen” is the final song and it starts off like a SOULFLY song in the 90’s would have, so that can’t be a bad thing, can it? The aggression is still in full flow, even it if seems slightly less heavy as we have had, more technical minded perhaps? Still it’s a good song as the melodies are build up well, after hearing this album I think it could explode at any second, but seemingly not so. It is at CHIMAIRA pace once, which shows a composure to control the pace set by the band. It is just a different style, nothing wrong with this at all, so no need to worry.

Ok, so I cannot speak nor understand Swedish, but who cares. We listen to loads of bands that do not speak our native tongue. When an album like this comes along, you can see it has been put together perfectly. You can listen to it in full, randomized or even split into a playlist with other songs, and it does not lose anything. That is a rare gift. I cannot speak highly enough about this album. Feed us more CLOTHES IRON! I mean STRYKJÄRN! I want more songs like this, and longer so we can enjoy them for longer. When this happens, we will be happy, until then, we wait and listen to this album and more from the band.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Söndrad och härskad (Divided and ruled)
2. Allt måste dö (Everything has to die)
3. Utdelning på marginalerna (Dividend on margins)
4. Köbildning vid giljotinen (Queue formation at the guillotine)
5. Moderaten (Moderates)
6. Spegelsalen (Hall of Mirrors)
Filip Fougstedt – Lead Vocals
Johnny Alfredsson – Bass Guitar
Dennis Eriksson – Lead Guitars
Martin Kadhammar – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 19 February 2020

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