From the moment you set foot in Skellefteå you can feel it. There’s something about the towering, humbling forests of northern Sweden and the vast barren earth, that makes you feel both intimidated and protected at the same time.
The last time I visited there, I landed in the middle of a snow storm. I walked out of the airport and was met by snow blowing in every direction, beautiful white landscapes and air that felt cleaner than any air I’d ever inhaled. When nature takes over and shows you its full force, you realize just how insignificant you are.
In the taxi into town I made some comment about the weather to the driver, who casually told me that this was nothing. It had been minus 30 degrees a few days ago. I silently wished I’d come sooner.
Having spent my childhood almost as far up north as Skellefteå, but on the other side of the sea that divides Sweden from Finland, I know these winters well. I’m also familiar with the effect they can have on you. It takes patience, endurance and perseverance to get through them.
In the midst of winter, when vitamin D deficiency starts kicking in, you learn a little something about self-preservation. And if there is one thing the human mind is exceptional at, it’s self-preservation.
It’s therefore not surprising that a band like BLODET would emerge from a place like this. With their raw and powerful sound, illuminating bleak soundscapes, they manage to extract light from darkness, shape and form from the shadows.
Kristallpalatset may be their first official release, but these guys are no novices. With a steady hand they skillfully master the build-up and the gradual crescendo, following in the foot steps of the likes of Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
Just like their fellow northerners, Cult of Luna (from the neighbouring town of Umeå), BLODET combine a hardcore temperament with the aesthetics and dynamics of black metal and post punk. The result hits you like a natural force.
Kristallpalatset is full-blooded body of work, a monument to perseverance and endurance, a testament to the fact that admitting your own frailty is the truest form of strength.
Listen to Kristallpalatset below.