Feb 122018


The Stockholm group Setsuko think it’s fine for screamo bands to move more in the direction of metal (and grindcore in particular), and for grindcore bands to move more toward screamo as well. They’ve chosen to position themselves in the middle between those two camps, with a laudable objective:  “to combine the most violent sounds of both hardcore and metal and play the fastest, angriest stuff we possibly can”. And these Swedes do mean what they say, as you’re about to find out.

Setsuko’s debut album is The Shackles of Birth, which will be released in March on the UK label Dog Knights Productions. The song we’re bringing you is “Child Without Brain,” which according to Setsuko follows a “theme of paranoia and living in a world somewhere between lucidity and psychosis”. In fact, most of the songs follow that theme as well.



There is indeed a psychotic quality to the song, not least because the ear-shredding screams of the vocalist sound like the last enraged proclamations of a madman while he’s being put to the torch. Consistent with Setsuko’s objectives, the music is indeed fast, violent, and angry — noisy, skronky, and hammering at first and then erupting in a frenzied squall of abrasive riffing and blasting drums.

It might have ended there if the song were as short as other Setsuko compositions, but here the band take a little more time, and so the rhythm becomes a slow stomp, over which the guitar flickers and jabs and turns into a slow oozing thing that’s as morbid as dead children stacked on a pyre. But you get the sense that the taste for violence is always gnawing at the band, and so there’s a final discharge of assaulting drums and raking riffage.

Setsuko’s The Shackles of Birth will be released by Dog Knights Productions on limited vinyl and digitally.

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