Folkstorm – Sweden

I guess everybody in the ambient-industrial-scene is familiar with Henrik Nordvargr Björkk. For all I know, he began his music career with the quite satanic Cold Meat Industry-act MZ (Maschinenzimmer) 412. Since then, he evolved as an underground artist, released under the moniker Folkstorm about nine albums, had some records released under his own name, and composed the Sleep Therapy-boxset.

MZ. 412 is a dark-industrial project, Sleep Therapy is more minimal-ambient, and this release, which is ‘Sweden’, is more harsh, more militant and cruel. I don’t really wonder why he called this album ‘Sweden’. If there is one country that contributed a lot (maybe even the most) to the blooming of the dark-experimental-genre, it is Sweden.

‘Folkstorm is dead. All hail the new order of lesser meaning. All hail the rise of nothing. All hail the art of plagiarism,’ says the booklet of this release. Yes: Folkstorm is dead. Which is a good thing. If an artist has new means of expressing himself with a new project, why not kill the former? Why keep on continuing in the same musical direction?

This last effort in the Folkstorm-trench is a very dark, oppressive album. The first track of the ten untitled ones is riddled with a heavily distorted guitar riff, very akin to a black metal composition. In track two, a growling voice is present, sounding a lot like a swearing spell, eventually drowning in the rumbling noise. A lot of the tracks are based on distorted electric guitars. Luckily, there are also nice folkish music samples on track four and eleven, of course battered by white noise, and other more experimental cut-ups that return as theme’s, as in track nine.

I believe Björkk is moving more and more away from the standard dark-industrial soundscapes, and he is more involved in creating a personal sound. ‘Sweden’ is a nice blend of destruction and electricity, with lots of references to styles that have become overly imitated by ugly epigones.

artist: Folkstorm
label: Cold Spring
details: 11 tracks, 2004 [CSR29CD]