This tape is the first release of Sweden's trio Blessings (with members of Anchor and Scraps of tape). the tape called Bittervaten is seven songs for a bit more than twenty minutes and it's not just "solid for a first release", it's really good and interesting. Like many bands nowadays they mix hardcore with more dark and metal elements like black/death metal and crusty sludge, but they manage to sound, from the first listen, different and more interesting than nearly all the bands in the "blackened hardcore" wave. maybe because they also have in their sound something that reminds a bit the noise / post-punk from the 90' making them sound a bit like a meeting of Black flag with Sonic youth.
but it's hard to describe so just listen to them...
Blessings-Bittervaten on BC
Mattias who plays in Blessings answered to my questions about his band. read it below.
-how did the band start? what was the project when you formed?
I guess we've been a band for about a year. We're all busy doing tons of things besides BLESSINGS, but once we're together we're focusing 100%.
-how did you composed the songs in Bittervatten?
More or less all of the songs on Bittervatten just happened, so to speak. They came to us very organically and without any amount of force. It was just the three of us jamming it out. We decided early on to focus on the whole and not go into tiny details. It was a very relaxed process and we're all very proud of the outcome.
-was the idea with the recording of Bittervatten to find places to play live? Are you looking for a record label to release an album?
Not really. No plans, no goals. We just wanted to play music together. A label, yeah, I guess. Anyone is welcome to approach us with ideas or offers. We're all well-behaved and friendly young men, so don't be affraid.
-how would you describe your music? I described it as sounding a bit like a meeting of Black flag and Sonic youth, would you agree to that?
I honestly haven't thought too much about that. I've been too busy playing our music to be able to pigeonhole whatever it is where doing and I don't really care anyway. If Black flag meets Sonic youth is what we sound like I'm happy!
-a few words about your nine minutes long song Seven blessings?
Like most of our songs "Seven blessings" basically just came to us. Keeping it simple was the rule number one throughout the entire writingprocess and that song manifests that one hundred percent. It was important not to overdo or complicate anything. We never sit down and discuss where to go musically. The music takes us places. What you hear is what comes out when we plug in and play. We wanted to keep it that way.
-I really like The shrine it’s maybe the song I prefer in Bittervatten, what do you have to say about it?
"The shrine" might actually be one of my personal favorites. It was one of the last songs we wrote, if I remember correctly.
-what about the lyrics of your songs? What does Bittervatten means ?
Johan came up with the title. He's a man full of ideas. I guess he liked the word and it resonated well with the rest of us. I'm the least involved in writing lyrics. I trust the others with it and it turns out fine. If it's not broke I'm not gonna try and fix it, you know. If there's a message behind our songs I'd say it's one of darkness and evil.
-are you influenced by the Scandinavian tradition in black/death metal?
We're influenced by a lot of different types of music. Swedish death metal has definitely had a huge impact on me and my musical identity. Bands like ENTOMBED/NIHILIST, DISMEMBER, MURDER SQUAD, CARNAGE, AT THE GATES, GRAVE and EVERDAWN have meant tons to me. The list can be made endless though.
-which bands from your area would you recommend?
I'd say if you're into BLESSINGS you might want to check out the other bands we're in. SCRAPS OF TAPE, FÄ, PAINTED WOLVES and ANCHOR among others. I'd like to think that'd give you further insight into who we are and our reasons for doing this.
-what’s your favourite records released this year?
My number one has got to be THÅSTRÖM's Beväpna dig med vingar. He's one of my absolute heroes and every time he releases a new record it's close to a religious thing for me. UNVEIL - A flame with nothing to feed on is an amazing record by an amazing band. Such a shame they broke up a few months ago. I would've loved to see them take that formula even further. The new NECROVATION-lp blew me away too. Who else released records this year? The new SCOTT KELLY-record is just as amazing as I was expecting it to be. Same thing with NEUROSIS - Honor found in decay obviously. PROPAGANDHI has always been one of my favorite bands and Failed states didn't disappoint. I also had HOT WATER MUSIC - Exister on repeat for months. Such an incredible record.
-what do you plan for 2013?
We don't really make plans. As a band we're more of the come-what-may-and-we'll-see-what-to-make-out-of-it-type.
-have you started writing new songs? What can we expect from the next record?
We actually recorded two songs live in our practice space last week and laid down the vocals yesterday. These songs are meant to end up on a 7". No label sorted yet, so feel free to get in touch if this sounds interesting to you!
-something to add in conclusion?
Disco sucks, fuck everything!