(After an absence of more than two years, our old comrade deckard cain has returned to NCS with a guest review of the fourth album by the Swedish band Agrimonia, which was released by Southern Lord on January 26th.)
In an Old English medical manuscript, ‘Agrimonia’ was cited as an herb, a panacea for all supposed ailments.
‘If it be leyd under mann’s heed,
He shal sleepyn as he were deed;
He shal never drede ne wakyn
Till fro under his heed it be takyn.’
Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal paints quite a vivid picture of the country’s trajectory into death metal haven, the first chapter of which is dedicated entirely to hardcore punk and its variants. The gradual shift from heavy metal to speed/power to thrash metal might as well have been wholly discarded in favour for a much more two-way exchange between hardcore and death metal.
There are exceptions to this, of course, but for the sake of brevity one cannot dissociate one from the other. Most of the now seminal Swedish death metal bands had a background in hardcore punk and crust, and one cannot miss the clear crossover spirit that so pervades the earlier releases of said bands. So, the Swedish lineage may be considered a tad different from other strains. Continue reading »