Through The Noise: ‘Dualism’
Unreadable logos, deep forests on the album covers, musicians wearing the most bizarre make-up, and lots of raw, aggressive metal: these are usually the hallmarks of Swedish metal bands. While Through the Noise‘s music certainly does not fall short of our expectations, it’s the cover that’s dumbfounding. If anything, it belongs to some glam rock album, or to a band playing a similarly soft and glittery genre.
Indeed, if I’d seen the cover before listening to the album, I’d have never expected the genre of music I found inside. Despite the cover’s design, the songs you’re going to listen to can’t be described as sweet and sedated. Not one bit.
Maybe it’s all part of the band’s plan: it’s fairly common to judge a book by its cover, after all. If that’s the case, many are going to be as surprised as I was: behind that sober, misleading facade lies the kind of music that’s going to knock your socks off.
Through the Noise was founded in Malmo by Jowl Nyberg (vocals), Victor Adonis (guitar), Markus Skantz (guitar), Martin Lingonblad (bass), and Peter Liwgren (drums), and quickly built itself a name through many concerts touring Sweden and then Europe in the following years.
Its first demo, Adorn The Silence, dates back to 2013, while their first full-length album, Fall of Gaia, was released in April 2015. The two-part single The King of Nothing & The Water of Life (for all Metallica fans out there) came in hot in 2016, followed the next year by the single In Retrospect, all complete with their own official music videos.
The title of their latest album, Dualism, echoes the band’s style of combining extreme metal and hardcore punk in ways that clearly recall the likes of Killswitch Engage and Between the Buried and Me. The band’s music certainly has energy and enthusiasm to sell, the kind that can open up any Download Festival and hype up the crowd: there’s lots of glorious pummeling, interspersed here and there by less aggressive melodies, just quick breathers before the next round of metalcore glory.
Listening to Dualism back-to-back convinced me that we have a great album on our hands: the metal is aggressive, yet not unbearably so, and what really struck me was the band’s cohesion, the kind that makes me want to listen even more.
It’s clear that the band has been influenced by Arch Enemy, especially in the songs War Eternal, ‘Shattered’, and ‘Digital Playground’. Psychomachia stands out for having the only female voice in the album, and reminded me of Slipknot. The drums are often hammering; the growl is powerful, nowhere more so than in House of Asterion. Secret Project is the longest track and there at the end, it echoes a song by Being As An Ocean; one can almost hear Joel Quartuccio’s warm voice swinging between aggressive sounds and melodious ones.
The echoes and influence of other bands don’t end there, either: the instrumental music tips the hat to Trivium, while Maktbegär‘s vocals brings Rage Against the Machine to mind.
Towards the end of the album, metalcore takes center stage in Meaning Through Noise and Beyond Betrayal, a triumph of drum solos and guitar riffs guaranteed to fire up any mosh pit. All the above-mentioned similarities to other bands aren’t a weak point, however; on the contrary, they’ll make listening to the album an engaging and surprising experience, like it was for me.
Dualism is releasing on April 12, containing nine songs. The album was engineered by Ermin Hamadovic, known for his work with Periphery, Devin Townsend Project, and Architects, among others, and mastered by Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson at The Panic Room in Skövde.
Translation by Federico Zunino