M:40’s music has been described as Hardcore Crust Punk Metal, and never before has a description been so fitting. The Swedish five piece avoid melodies like the plague, favouring instead to beat you to death with a series of fast and furious riffs while screaming in your face. Sound slightly unsettling and aggressive? Well then, it’s working.
The Lidköping natives have been away for nearly 7 years but they are back, and more ferocious than ever. The band themselves have described their 4th album Arvsynd as their “darkest and most brutal recording” and you’d be hard pressed to argue with that statement. Arvsynd isn’t music it’s an assault.
The album’s title refers to ‘Original Sin’ and the idea that we’re left to face up to the sins that we have inherited from previous generations. M:40 are pissed off at the world and those in charge and they’re going to let you know just how pissed off they are.
The real takeaway from this record is just how confrontational and how uncompromising it is. For all of the fancy titles, and strange sub-genre labels attached to the band this is a Punk record at heart. 5 guys are angry at the establishment, and their way of dealing with it is to make the loudest most abrasive record they possibly can. With the exception of the title track which serves as a palate cleanser just under halfway through, the band achieves their goal. But the albums greatest strength also serves to be its greatest weakness.
Every song on display here is designed to hit like a sledgehammer blow, but that in turn means that songs tend to blur together into one impenetrable riff laden, bass heavy, scream filled mass. When you start out with so much aggression, and every song sets out to rip your face off, you give yourself nowhere to build too. The album doesn’t flow so much as rid roughshod over your senses. Which is fine; but there comes a point where, as the listener you need a little more than that.
Arvsynd isn’t an album that’s been created for you to enjoy, it’s been created to make you feel uncomfortable. To get up in your face and be downright belligerent and angry. It’s loud, it’s rebellious and it doesn’t compromise in the slightest. However, it does all of those things almost too well. Unless you’re already a fan, the wall of scream filled pandemonium which greets you as you hit play will appear daunting and very difficult to penetrate. And the lack of variation from song to song makes the album seem longer than it is.
Arvsynd is a one hit wonder of an album. It’s just brutal, and frankly absolutely nothing else. If you want any kind of subtlety and dexterity then M:40 aren’t the band for you. And that’s exactly how they like it.