Halshug return a year on from their Blodets Bånd LP with a definitive follow up full length, firming up their fundamental take on hardcore punk with Scandinavian leanings. Sort Sind, out once again on Southern Lord, perpetuates the strength of the Danish trio’s signature biting blend of dbeat and distorted stomp, and lives up to the downcast title that translates to ‘Black Mind’.
Rather than succumbing to the trappings of sub-genres, Halshug intuitively blast out pure hardcore punk tracks that make fists clench and bodies slam. Their grim outlook is evident from the start with a desperate, tortured sample taken from the 2013 Danish documentary that shares the title Blodets Bånd, and the themes of substance abuse, parental neglect and growing up in deprived areas of Denmark are present across the whole record – track names translate to ‘Scum’, ‘Violence’, ‘Defeat’ and ‘Lonesome Death’. Underneath these dark missives, the band relentlessly pound out solid mid-tempo riffs that have as much as common with GAG and Blazing Eye as they do with their native predecessors Nuclear Death Terror – Sort Sind is as gritty as it gets without shedding any of the crucial coherence that makes Halshug so memorable.
The overall theme of Sort Sind is inspired by the members’ experiences growing up in the 1990s and 2000s in neglected parts of Denmark, hoping to in some way contribute to their scene and invoke some energy in those who hear it. Fitting into this storyline is the track ‘Vold’ which translates to violence, and according to the members of Halshug is about psychic terror. The previously released track ‘Udskud’ also clearly displays the tumult and unrest that Halshug has captured in their second full-length.
The nine track record was written and arranged in the last months of 2015, apart from opener ‘Sort Sind’ which appears on their debut 2012 demo, and is updated to reflect the leaps forward the band have made in the four years that have passed. Recorded live, produced and mixed at Ballade Studios in Copenhagen by Lasse Ballade, who also produced and mixed Blodets Bånd, the Sort Sind LP was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.
Southern Lord have released Halshug’s Sort Sind on CD, LP, and digital platforms. Orders can be placed via the Southern Lord store.
“Roaring out of Denmark like a T-Rex with a hardcore obsession, the raw, barbarous noise of Halshug is perfect for anyone who loves putting their fists through walls. Like a more extreme Kvelertak.” – TEAM ROCK, METAL HAMMER
“It’s made of monster riffs, thundering percussion, body-moving bass, and skin-stripping vocal fury. There’s a sense of physical power and bodily impact in the way the music hits the ears. It’s supercharged with energy — and yes, it is indeed a violent kind of energy, with an almost anthemic aura. The song will also get its hooks in you — it’s an infectious piece of hardcore punk as well as a battering one.” – NO CLEAN SINGING