If you’re yet to discover Spotify’s Discover Weekly, then here’s a tale that’ll make you want to get involved in it. I was listening to my weekly collection of new music the other week when some brutally good metal popped into my ears. The creators of this brilliant noise was Knogjärn, a band that formed in January 2015 in the southern Swedish city of Karlstad.
The quartet of vocalist Kim Eriksson, guitarist Markus Hurtig, bassist Rasmus Sörbom and drummer Johan Hidén sing in Swedish and fuse big screamed vocals with huge chuggy riffs that contrast against more melodic, clean choruses.
In the words of Knogjärn – which translates to Brass Knuckles: “People tend to describe our music as Metalcore, and comparing us to Pantera with a punk attitude.”
The song that first drew me into the Knogjärn sound was Sa lite minnen – which translates to “So few memories” – the penultimate track from the band’s second album Marscherar & förtstör released earlier this year.
The band tell us: “We usually write about things that piss us off. Sa lite minnen is about dementia and how Swedish healthcare (mis)treats its patients.”
This much comes across regardless of whether or not you understand Swedish in this stunning, brutal track. It begins with a big scream that gives way to a low-tuned bone-crushing riff that returns throughout the track. It supports an opening verse of fast-paced screamed vocals, then flows into a chorus of singalong vocals supported by drawn-out guitar chords, after which the huge riff takes hold again. Things get darker after the second chorus, with a key change to the original riff followed by wild high guitar notes, before diving into a final rendition of the chorus then signs out with big booming guitar blasts, building high notes and screamed vocals.
Marscherar & förtstör is chocked full of fast-paced metal tracks, including the excellent Bitar av glas, which sees screamed vocals supported by big chugging guitars that flow into a fun choppy riff then a fast-paced driving riff, and features a big chunky breakdown that you can’t help but love. Check it out for yourself in the video below:
Equally good is the fast-paced opening track Hur sjuka är vi, and the huge opening riff to Stänger ner dig, which it’s almost impossible not to bang your head along to. Big screamed vocals dominate throughout this fast romping almost punky track, supported by the big chunky guitar riffs.
The band tell us they draw influence from the likes of Metallica and Slipknot, and that comes across in the huge opening riff for Dödä röster and the subsequent huge vocals supported by a big fast-paced riff, which flows into a singalong chorus.
It’s also eminent in the final track Le när du dödar– loosely translated to When You Kill – which in itself reflects the awesome Knogjärn sound. It starts off in brooding, dark fashion then explodes into life with huge screamed vocals supported by booming guitars, then Kim mixes up his vocals through the second verse.
You can also see the band in action in this awesome video of their set at Sweden Rock Festival earlier this year:
We haven’t spoken to too many Swedish bands yet, but Knogjärn tell us its music scene is in good health: “The Swedish metal scene is thriving, thousands of bands are currently working their way up, but they’re competing with bigger acts like In Flames, Mustasch etc…”
The band hope to have more gigs coming through the remainder of the year, but tell us don’t think their Swedish lyrics would allow them to draw enough of a crowd for a standalone gig in the UK, as much as they’d love to make it over here. So let’s show them shall we?
Oh, and thank you to Spotify’s Discover Weekly for helping me discover this Swedish gem.