Illvilja / M:40 split EP

M:40 is presented first here, as a char-core discordant mosh cacophony. As far as newer crust goes, this registers on the blackened epic side. SLUTET comes to mind, but more abysmal and desperate, like ACCURSED or MARTYRDÖD in mood, but add some bone-grinding blastbeats and take away all glints of hope and light. M:40 is a lesson in Scandinavian blackened crust. ILLVILJA has an intro that creates a new dawn of sorts on this split, but equally reminiscent of ACCURSED. Epic chords and melancholy journeys across a desolate crust landscape. ILLVILJA plays remarkably more optimistically, if that means I’ve come to terms with the complete dread of the world. Not a feel-good split—here it is, drowning whirlpools of dark crust anguish for your embittered nihilistic enjoyment.

M:40 Arvsynd LP

I do not know if the band name M:40 is in reference to a weapon or what, but M:40 of Sweden is weaponized with dooming folksy acoustic landscapes that remind me of ACURSED, GUTS PIE EARSHOT, and some tinges of blackened metal. My favorite thing about Arvsynd is the way all the musical levels are blended together. There is not much breathing room here, but it is not overwhelmingly aggressive either. It’s like a dense Scandinavian fog of heavy turmoil. This is the kind of hardcore that can usually get exhausting to me, but M:40 breaks it up with casual D-beat such as UNCURBED, sinister metal riffs such as NIHILIST, and fuzzed-out duo vocals. Favorite track: “Viskningar I Mörkret.” Melodic crustcore with finesse.