Archive for Totalitar

Review: Sahn Maru

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on March 24, 2013 by Magadh

Picture of Sahn Maru

Sahn Maru Never Too Late Inimical Records

I’m basically just working through a backlog of stuff, so apologies if you see reviews of stuff that came out a while ago. Then again, why am I apologizing to you? Read it or don’t.

Sahn Maru - Poisoned BloodSahn Maru is a Bay Area crusty h.c. act featuring two former members of the Blown to Bits. There is a certain amount of Scandinavian influence here, but it doesn’t sound like the legions of Skitsystem imitators out there. The ten songs included here do feature a lot of that peculiar d-beat picking cadence, but with a specifically West Coast sort of feel to it. They manage to sound dark and angry without too much down tuning, and the vocals are gruff without being completely incomprehensible. I’ve seen them compared to bands like Totalitär, but their song structures are kind of different and don’t quite have that straight ahead feel that characterized Ni Maste Bort. They actually remind me of Clown Alley, but with less of a metallic approach and without CA’s quirky song structures.

The subject matter here is to a great degree environmental. This carries over into the imagery included in their artwork, which really gives the impression of a planet having the very life sucked out of it. Musically this is a really furious release; punk rock with very little metal alloy but plenty of rage and aggression. The perfect background music for witnessing the decay of all life.


Review: Infernöh

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 15, 2013 by Magadh

Infernöh War Tjard D-takt & Råpunk

infernohI know that I make a lot of comparisons between modern d-beat acts and the same set of early 80s acts, and now I have been shown the error of my ways. I’ve just heard War Tjard by the Swedish band Infernöh and I was really reminded of what the bands of the 1980-5 era really sounded like. Infernöh are deliciously lo-fi, without reducing their sound to a tinny rattle. I’ve heard them compared to Anti-Cimex and Totalitär, and this is not a totally inappropriate comparison. To my mind they sound more like the classic Finnish band Kaaos. Any way you slice it this is an absolutely savage release. Ten cuts of blistering Scandinavian thrash stripped down to the absolute basics: heavily distorted guitars and utter rage. They get extra points for having a record cover that looks like it was drawn by a stoned sixth grader on the back of his peechee. Was this the best d-beat release of 2012? To my mind it just jumped to the top of the list.

Their demo is pretty awesome as well and can be downloaded here.

Review: Destierro

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by Magadh

Destierro Örlog Chaos666

destierro_covI’ve heard a lot of awesome music from Spain lately, as readers of this blog will know. One thing that has struck me is that specific take on the d-beat format that bands from Spain have evinced of late. Instinto is an obvious case of this. While playing fierce d-beat music they retain a sort of lightness that differentiates them from the mainline Scandinavian bands. Even bands like Totälickers, whose point of reference seems a lot closer to Totalitär than it does to Anti-Cimex, still have this quality of lightness that for me amounts to a distinctive Spanish sound. This is a good thing. It keeps the format varied and creates space for people who want to create within it while not merely aping sounds produced in other places.

Of course, things are different up in the Basque country, thus it is not surprising that their take on this format would be rather different as well. On their Örlog CD, Destierro offer a darker, more metallic take on this format than the above named acts. There is a definite influence of bands like From Ashes Rise and Wolf Brigade, but Destierro’s take on d-beat retains its own particular approach, depending more on straight aggression rather than the melodic overlays that are characteristic of bands like FAR, Sarabante, etc. Destierro are very direct in the way that they do things, using downtuned guitars to create a gloomy and chaotic atmosphere. Their lyrics are also less directly political than some of the other Spanish d-beat bands discussed in this space, running more to the destruction of the individual and the problems of existence than to directly political topics. Overall, this is a really savage release, and one that deserves your attention.

Watch them do their thing here.