Henry Kane – Den Forstorda Manniskans Rika (Transcending Obscurity)by Chris Davison on Feb 19, 2017 • 10:12 am 1 Comment
I feel like a bit ignorant here, but I have no idea who Henry Kane is. I assume it’s a reference to something (maybe the graphic novel?), but it’s not one I’m au fait with. If any reader has an idea, please let me know in the comments section! I do know that this Henry Kane is a Swedish outfit formed by Jonny Petersson (he of Wombbath infamy, among other outfits). If you’re thinking, “oh, another Swedish Death Metal band – I know what this will sound like”, you don’t know the whole picture. Not by a long chalk.
So, let’s talk through the things you might have assumed and got right. Yes, this is another album that features that guitar tone. You know the one – it’s been used since the Nihilist days, and seems to be the go to sound to invoke musty, gnarled atmosphere. Hey, I love it, and to be fair I don’t really get tired of hearing it. Yes, the vocals are the same slightly echoey, underground growled bellow that you might have heard just a “few” times before. So far, so old school Swedish Death Metal.
Except, you see, it isn’t all Death Metal. Oh, for sure, there are some moments that bring to mind the better works of classics like Dismember, Grave or Entombed, but the real difference here is that the building blocks of the old sound of Scandinavian death metal have been rearranged in quite a different way. I suppose in a way it’s the death metal equivalent of Lego – yes, you have all the same pieces that you have seen used to build a cute racing car, but now it’s been used to build a cute little house. (Henry Kane members please note: I bet you never thought Lego would be used as a weak metaphor in a review of your music!). Here, the same building blocks have been used to produce a bona fide grindcore album – and not any kind of Grindcore album, no, but one that sounds as if it could have been written in the early 90’s.
How you feel about this album then, will depend almost entirely on how you can get on with the idea of old, punky grindcore being played with the sounds and attitude of early Northern Death Metal. Personally, I really enjoyed it, and I’m not even that big a fan of the whole grindcore approach (too one-note, for me, from a song writing point of view), but tracks such as the absolutely blasting “Flaskan Var Din Sista Van” are so infectiously fun that it seems churlish not to grin at the chaos that unfolds through the headphone speakers. It’s a joyful hybrid that really shouldn’t work as much as it does – Carnage gone punk is a thought that doesn’t quite compute – but it essentially does. It’s a no-nonsense slab of filth-dripping violence that I suspect really doesn’t care if you like it or not – and in not giving a damn, comes out as a winner. Good stuff.
(7/10 Chris Davison)