Reviewed: July 2004
Released: 2004, Karmageddon Media/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
This is the follow up to the bands debut album “DOMINION REPTILIAN” from -03. The info note says that this album is better than the debut, it has better material and the production is better, well we have to see about that.
Hearse is a Swedish band I’ve never come across before. The band is a trio that involves Max, Mattias and Johan (Carnage, Furbowl, Arch Enemy) behind the mic. The last thing I’ve heard from Johan was his lasts band’s, Non Exist, debut album “DEUS DECEPTOR” released -02.
I met Johan a while ago when his old band Arch Enemy did a show in Malmö and then he told me that he no longer was a part of Non Exist because he was involved in Hearse and that took up to much of his time.
The band has written all the lyrics and music except for the Kim Wilde cover “CAMBODIA”. The pre-production was done in Studio Gubbsjuk Mobile System and recorded in Basement Audio System in Stockholm Sweden during the summer/autumn -03 by Jonas Edler who also with Max has mixed the album. Jonas has done a terrific job with the soundpicture and production and it sounds really aggressive, brutal, hard and there are a lot of space for Johan’s vocals and Mattias’s riffing guitar.
Hearse delivers 11 tracks including the cover and an almost instrumental track and a whole instrumental song. The info note describes this as being just metal and nothing more something that’s completely wrong I think. I would describe it as death metal mixed with rock’n’roll and what do we have then? Yes, death’n’roll. There are some slower passages as well but in general the speed is really fast and Johan sounds extremely angry behind the mic. It also feels like there are some influences of punk in the music and the music is a bit technical. The guitarist delivers some really nice and explosive guitar solos and he riffs on straight through the album.
Some of the songs that falls out of the frame are “IN LOVE AND WAR” who is very close to an up-tempo ballad. It’s pretty slow and sadly I don’t think it has potential to be a hit because of the radio stations un-will to play this kind of music. They do a very nice cover of “CAMBODIA” and they sure have managed to do it in their own style. “SODI” is an instrumental track with only acoustic guitar; the track is only one and a half-minute. “PLAY WITHOUT RULES” has a longer keyboard solo in the middle of the musical inferno, John Gripe guest appears on keyboard. The title track “ARMAGEDDON MON AMOUR” is almost strictly instrumental except for some vocals by Johan and Susanne Fahlberg does the female talk-vocals. At the end there are a longer guitar solo before it stops abruptly and there’s a piano taking over in the outro.
Personally I think that Hearse has big musical similarities with what the Swedish legends in Entombed plays now. There aren’t any negative things to say about this album. Hearse deserves to go really far in the future. I really hope we can get a chance to catch them live.
I’m not really sure of who plays what but I think that’s Mattias on guitar, Max on drums and Johan on vocals. I don’t know who’s playing bass.
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Mountain of solar eclipse
Crops of waste
In love and war
Ticket to devastation
Play without rules
Armageddon Mon amour
Johan Liiva – lead vocals, strings
Mattias Ljung – strings, cleaning
Max Thornell – drums, strings