Like gin and tonic or sunny days and the beach, crust and death are the perfect pairing. The glorious bludgeoning of death metal and overdriven, fuzzy crust makes short work of anyone uneducated in the mires of extreme music; novices may start and stop with Entombed—more shame on them. Henry Kane, a project headed by members of Wombbath, make even shorter work of those unwilling to get a bit of nasty dick crust in their jeans. Den Förstörda Människans Rike might compare to certain records with a certain guitar pedal sound, in that it sounds familiar in tone and feel, but not necessarily in terms of actual content.
The traditional crust-death guitar tone is turned up to 11 crusts out of 10 on Den Förstörda Människans Rike. It’s obtuse, even for hardened veterans of the HM-2 circuit. Almost alien sounding, it’s less guitar and more a sharpened, murder instrument. It does a great job of opening the record though, like an alarm klaxon getting the most awful of morning people outta bed with a horrific start. Tied in with some more traditionally death metal sounding percussion (the dick punch tom and kick combination) and a bass that exists only in the breaks of silence and there’s a very specific tone brewed by Henry Kane. It hits quick and heavy, but the short barrages of violence that make up the first third of this record are more cookie cutter, less buzzsaw.
It’s not ’til the title track begins its march that Den Förstörda Människans Rike picks up any real steam. Everything leading up to it smacks of d-beat and crusty death mediocrity. As soon as Henry Kane start pushing some different buttons and tweaking the feel and groove of their sound, that’s when shit gets to raise a bloody eyebrow or two.
The vocal work of Jonny Pettersson is up there with the A-list, bee’s knees, cream of the crop etc. His deep death growls and screeching wails are prominent in the mix and touched with reverb occasionally; tastefully so, not overproduced like every second death metal vocalist today. His voice takes on an almost operatic function in the second half of the record, casting spells and telling twisted stories (it’s taken several listens through but the closest reference point would be the early 2000’s albums of Darkane, if that helps). It’s this variation in techniques and delivery that helps keep Henry Kane tracks from spilling into “heard it before” territory. It’s not just the vocals that come from slightly left of centre though, as the band spray some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it melodies under the caustic air of overdrive and fuzz. There’s no clean reprieve on Den Förstörda Människans Rike, so don’t worry—just enough to make the fine tuned ears of crust fiends turn up at the edges.
Henry Kane come across as a straight death metal band flogging their wares under the cover of crust. That’s not even up for argument. Within these rampant displays of death, doom and disgust are some really slick touches, slick enough to merit a good handful of listens. Den Förstörda Människans Rike scratches the itch of a pus seeping, filth encrusted wound, just enough to keep it infected and gurgling viscera. This particular slab of Scandinavian noise terror will conjure halcyon memories of rust and crust for those who linger in the shadows. It might even convert a few uppity hardcore fans along the way.
Den Förstörda Människans Rike is available now via Transcending Obscurity and can be purchased here.