Title: Wielding Metal Massacre
Release: LP / Digital
Label: Wielding Metal Massacre Recordings
Swordwielder, hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, have been a force in the stenchcore scene for more than a decade, wielding their steel-bound music with the precision of a sharpened blade while striking a powerful chord in the DIY punk community. Their latest offering, the aptly titled Wielding Metal Massacre, is yet another testament to their mastery of a sound heavily influenced by the likes of Deviated Instinct, Amebix, and Axegrinder.
Much like the hilt of a battle-worn sword, Swordwielder’s music is sturdy and unyielding. They draw their inspiration from the annals of crust punk and channel it through the lethal edge of death metal, creating a sound that’s as cutting as it is commanding. Self-released by the band and distributed through Not Enough Records in Europe, Wielding Metal Massacre is a proper auditory onslaught, akin to a relentless swing of a battle axe. Yet the record is quite complex, with ample amounts of slow parts and mournful interludes. Beginning with the bludgeoning opener “Weapons of the Dark Ages,” Swordwielder find the delicate balance between the slower, doom-laden parts with spellbinding quasi-spoken word passages in “Beneath a Blood Red Sky” and “Funeral Dirge,” and earth-shattering behemoths like “Devil in Command” and “Envy the Dead,” delivering crushing riffs and thunderous percussion that leave no room for compromise.
Swordwielder’s lyrics cut deep, like a double-edged sword, delving into the grim and existential realities of social hierarchies, war and famine, where the only resolution is to “bring our leaders to the slaughter” or perhaps “drown them in fire”. Their words paint a vivid picture of post-apocalyptic scenes and battles waged on barren wastelands. While these may appear as far-fetched tales often found in metal music, they serve as a stark reflection of our current society, highlighting the looming threats posed by power-crazed politicians, the global military-industrial complex, and the specter of climate change. It’s a thematic approach that complements their musical aggression, resulting in a profound and thought-provoking experience. Their classic yet original stenchcore sound is a solid statement of dedication to the craft, with each member contributing to a collective energy that’s palpable. The production quality is unpolished, reminiscent of the underground roots that birthed the crust punk movement, and this rawness adds to the authenticity of their music.
Wielding Metal Massacre is not the first glimpse of Swordwielder’s prowess. They have previously released two great albums, System Overlord in 2019 and Grim Visions of Battle in 2013, both highly recommended for anyone delving into the world of stenchcore. The five anvil-heavy tracks on Wielding Metal Massacre demonstrate their evolution as a band, showcasing the band’s ability to maintain their signature sound while continuing to push boundaries. If you’re ready to embrace the brutal, uncompromising edge of Swordwielder’s sonic arsenal as well as their doomier, more melancholic parts, Wielding Metal Massacre is an essential addition to your collection, alongside their previous albums, making it clear that they are here to stay and continue their reign in the stenchcore realm. The US version of the record will be released soon on vinyl by the legendary Profane Existence.