Grieved are a dark hardcore act out of Stockholm, Sweden. I wasn't aware that there was much of a scene for this genre in a country far more known for melodic death metal and black metal, but don't count these guys out of the pit. In fact, especially for a debut album, this is some really impressive stuff. The delivery is that no-holds-barred, acerbic delivery we know and love from the hardcore and metallic punk camps, but the aesthetic is far more grim. Having already shared tours and festivals with the likes of everyone from Gojira to Converge, Grieved are a new force to be reckoned with.
Parallels could be drawn in guitar tone and style at times to the aforementioned Converge, but I feel that the closest throwback here is The Chariot. It's not a 1:1 comparison, but particularly the vocals just scream Josh Scogin to me. Imagine if the band never grew up in the warm, hip confines of Nashville and rather spent their days wandering the colder climates of Sweden. I could see how the end result might have a more barren, bitter tinge to it. Grieved is aptly named, and not a moment of this album is wasted in its campaign to crush your spirit. Misery loves company.
The crunchy basslines are grumpy, the downtuned guitars pissed off, and the drums downright furious. If Grieved were featured in Inside Out, there would be no joy...only anger and disgust. From the very first moments of "Oraque," you know all that you need to know about the music. It's cold, it's harsh, and it's unforgiving. Even a glance at the burning trees on the cover yields a fair summary. "No peace within me!" is the rallying call of "Fogbound." Even the brief instrumental interludes are bleached of all happiness. No more than a minute is what's needed for these guys to seriously ruin your day.
But you know what? I love every minute of it. Despite the off-putting atmosphere, the simple-yet technical approach of the instrumentation, spot-on vocal delivery, and concise songwriting all make this out to be something you need to hear. We're metalheads after all. I doubt you come to this site with the expectation of smiley, happy music. No. We come for the catharsis. You're welcome. For fans of Great American Ghost, Bastard Feast, Botch, and The Chariot. Stream below (full stream available on release 1/22/16).