July 3, 2012 | , | 4.5

Martyrdöd, Paranoia

Martyrdöd: Paranoia

I’ve heard some crusty, d-beat driven metal before, but the latest from Sweden’s Martyrdöd is some next level shit. Hurling thick, chunky rhythms along with a deft touch of melodic dissonance, Paranoia is an outstanding example of taking a genre and pushing it to the stretching point all the while still remaining true to its roots. I don’t know if that last sentence made an ounce of sense and I don’t fully know what to make of this album, but I sure as hell like it.

Album opener, “Nog Är Nog” threw me for a loop upon first listen. Hearing that opening salvo of melody (my head instantly nodding along with the beat), I was expecting something… different. What I got was so much more than I anticipated: buzzing riff destruction, thundering rhythms, aggressive-as-fuck vocals, solos and an underlying melody. This was supposed to be a crust punk album, and it is, but it’s also beyond that. And it kicks ass. I’m surprised by how well the melodic elements have been incorporated into music that shouldn’t mesh &#151 it feels so natural, like it should have been there the whole time.

“Överkom Er Rädsla” carries the dissonant melodies along with vicious riffage while barbaric, d-beat rhythms persist. The heavy drum work of “Klassfienden” dominates as songs like “Hör Världens Rop” and “Ett Hjärta Av Eld” make less use of melodic elements as a forefront attack (instead keeping them to the background) and present a more straightforward brand of crust.

The melodic attributes that made the opening duo of tracks such a hell of a combination never really emerge as strongly for the remainder of the album. Martyrdöd opt for it’s use within the swirling depth of their riffs (the title track and album closer “Varje Val Har Sitt Pris”) or as integral influences upon their lead guitar and soloing efforts as heard in the downright blasting “Köttberg” and the rocking “Avbön.”

Whether your a fan of the straightforward d-beat crust that most band’s single mindedly put out or if you’re a fan of something a little more melodic and still flat-out crushing, I highly recommend the latest from Martyrdöd. Paranoia is one of those albums that shows you more and more each time you listen to it. Hell, I’ve been fighting a losing battle to get the damned disc out of my stereo for a couple of weeks now.