Blood Command

Cult Drugs

Written by: PP on 27/07/2017 17:45:02

There's quite a buzz surrounding Norway's latest musical export, Blood Command, and for good reason. It takes but a few seconds of third album "Cult Drugs" before their highly volatile post-hardcore and punk concoction explodes into the most original expression you'll hear in 2017. Piercing, razor-sharp female vocals are monumentally ferocious, yet happy to morph into pop-influenced choruses at the right moments for the perfect mix of catchy rage, which the band has dubbed as 'death pop' in interviews.

New vocalist Karina Ljone is quite possibly even fierier than her predecessor Silje Tombre: her high-energy onslaught is best described as unmelodious, nearly cacophonous screaming that sounds like torturing a cat at times, but it all plays to Blood Command's advantage because when she breaks into the choruses, they are back-chillingly anthemic. Opening track "CTRL+ALT+DEL" is amazing with its raw, unadulterated screaming, which during the chorus switches into arena-sized danceable melodies. Elsewhere, unconventional songwriting creates an eerie vibe of experimentalism on the record, with rapidly changing styles from punk to post-hardcore to arena rock to post-punk and even pop rock at times. A beautiful, majestic amalgamation of genres that culminates in awe-inspiring, back-chilling passages like on the title track when the chorus rises to a pitch you didn't think possible, and experimental rhythms follow. This is what career masterpieces are made out of, folks.

"Quitters Don't Smoke" is another fantastic track where unusual percussion and rave synths give the band a completely different look whilst Karina dabbles in pop-melodies in one of the softer songs on the album. It works so well. On the opposite end of the genre spectrum, "Nervous Laughter" is a funky track with trumpets and an R'n'B vibe before post-hardcore takes over during the chorus in another genre cocktail that's difficult to convey on paper, but one that just works in brilliant fashion. The aggressive pieces like "Gang Signs" have Karina attack your face in aggravating fashion, but even here pop melodies take over during the chorus. Still, her scream gives many of her male counterparts a run for their money.

It feels like a mash-up of At The Drive-In, Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, Refused, and JR Ewing for the lack of better comparison. It's unique, that's for sure, and echoes both 90s original screamo / skramz atmosphere but also early 2000s post-hardcore vibes, and even the post-punk vibes of 2010s in the process. The sheer quality of songwriting - especially their ability to seamlessly combine pop-driven choruses with an aggressive hardcore soundscape - makes this album worth a listen. But that's not all: nearly all songs on "Cult Drugs" are captivating in their own peculiar manner. Easily one of the most original albums in 2017, and simultaneously one of the best.

Download: Cult Drugs, Gang Signs, Nervous Laughter, Quitters Don't Smoke, CTRL+ALT+DEL
For the fans of: JR Ewing, At The Drive-In, Fugazi, Refused, Drive Like Jehu
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.04.2017
Fysisk Format

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