Die Hard – Conjure the Legions
Release: September, 2012
Label: Agonia Records
Style: Death / Thrash
Let’s kick off with a useless quiz fact: they’re named after a Venom song, not after the same-named Bruce Willis franchise.
We’re dealing with an old-school inspired outfit Die Hard. On most of their band promo pictures they look like bunch of black metal fetishists, but actually Die Hard play a raw and balls to the wall blend of death and thrash. They’re inspired by bands such as the above mentioned Venom, Sodom, Bathory and Celtic Frost, but classic – both in terms of their death and thrash metal elements – as the band may sound, they’ve only been around since 2005. Moreover, with their jagged and unsanded classic sound and hate and Satan-inspired lyrics, they really couldn’t have come from any other country than Sweden. Indeed, this is a clear-cut case of Swedeath!
Over the course of its seven years’ existence, Die Hard have been rather productive, though mostly in terms of short EPs (five released in total) of which a considerable share of the songs was copied onto either of their two full-length records (2009 and 2012). Conjure the Legions is their latest full-length effort, released in late September, and with song titles such as ‘Satanic Uprise’ and ‘Antichrist’ it leaves no doubt about where those legions might be conjured from: from hell surely!
First thing that stands out is that the band’s mere three members manage to produce an awful lot of noise for such a small occupation. Guitarist Simon Wizén and bassist Harry – no last name known – share vocal duties and a chap named Perra Karlsson does his utmost to rhythmically break his drum kit. The overall look and feel of the record is as fast as it is dark and eerie, a fitting addition to Agonia Records’ roster of dark, doomed black and death metal bands.
Still, breaking this thing down to its constituent elements, it’s predominantly thrash metal, of the simple ‘bash-on straightforward’ type. Quick-paced and slightly sloppy guitar and drum work with tasteful bass accents – that could nonetheless have been mixed in a bit louder. In addition, Wizén lays down an occasional guitar solo of surprisingly high quality and sophistication given the band’s overall taste, and often of considerable length too.
On the human end of the noise spectrum, both vocalists refrain from all-out grunting but sound more like a tandem of medieval warriors trying to impress their enemies. They both employ a hoarse and dirty-sounding man-rumble, not unlike Mustasch’s Ralf Gyllenhammar. It all blends well, into something as manly as sniffing one’s own armpits and roaring at the smell of it.
Conjure the Legions is a nice 38-minute bite-sized cracker for those seeking exactly this in their daily metal serving. Masculinity and violence complemented with the smell of sweat and buckets of beer, that’s what this album sounds like. It may be generalizing, but it’s accurate. After all, it’s Swedeath, so don’t look for sophistication, refinement or signs of love and peace. Satan’s coming to town and he isn’t bringing presents.
My Grade: 7.5/10