I like most human beings drifting on this spiralling rock through space, I love just about everything Swedish. Swedish Massages, their gorgeous women, (the love of) my burning hatred for Ikea, the puppet master of the culinary arts (the Swedish chef): Sweden’s got pretty much everything on lock. Of course, how could I possibly forget their incredible contribution to music by way of metal and all things aggressive, At The Gates, Entombed, Dissection, and In Flames, just to name a few. And though Fredag Den 13 might not be remembered for generations to come like the aforementioned bands, their newest record Domedagar is sure to inspire more than its fair share of violence in the pit, and to help get at least some hapless desk jockey through their day with a smile.
After a first listen, what really captures me about this album is how seamlessly it flows through a variety of styles with ease and cohesion. FD 13:e is first and foremost on the side of metallic crust punk (I know the kids these days have a more specific name for it, but I’m out of the loop). Yet every song seems to pick up elements from punk, crust, rock, thrash, and even black metal. These guys have an extensive arsenal at their disposal and don’t waste a single chance to show off their versatile writing abilities.
The use of black metal elements really makes this band stand out in my opinion. It’s sprinkled in just the right spot at the right time; if anything I want to hear even more of it. The opening riff to “13 Procent” is pure darkness; swap the punk beat for a blast, and it transforms the song. For a little longer flirtation with their blackened roots, look no further than album closer “I Ett Nav FRLJUGENHET.”
But again, black metal is just one of many sides of this ‘genre-fuckfest’ coin. FD 13e go balls-deep into raw rock ’n’ roll territory without rubbers, and we’re all the happier for it. The whole album is crop dusted with riffs and solos that, in an alternate universe, might have actually made them a lot of money. Luckily for us, our universe gets the chainsaw-delivery version, and we can all wallow in poverty and self-pity together.
Guitarists Jacob and Stoff are on fire throughout this whole record. I’m not sure who does the leads, but all the solos are brilliantly executed with just the right amount of the cock-rock attitude to give it that extra kick. Stick your nose into “A Mera Gift” and “Gubbervrak” for a few tasty cuts.
In closing, I don’t think I’ve ever been this impressed by a band’s ability to move so wildly within its own context without losing any continuity and cohesion. I’m going to give Domedagar 9/10 because it literally has everything I love about aggressive music in one album.
Written by Paul Ablaze
*edited by Kate Erickson