Feast On Your Gone, the new album from Tomas Liljedahl, the former vocalist of the legendary Breach, is a release which torments and challenges the psyche, emotions, and at times sanity. The seeds of the project The Old Wind grew in the mind of Liljedahl during a dark period in his life and mind, the project an avenue, in his own words “…to get these demons out of my system.” It is a raw, ravenous, and cold consumption of the senses, a release which others might find an escape in too or just as easily find it sparks their own fight with the shadows. It is an impacting and corrosive confrontation, a caustic soundscape devoid of light and hope but equally it is hypnotically tempting, a dangerous challenge impossible to refuse.
The Old Wind initially a solo studio project for Liljedahl, with the artist writing and recording every instrument on Feast On Your Gone alone, soon provoked the need and realisation that the tracks needed to have a live declaration as well. Liljedahl brought in former Breach band mates Niklas Quintana (guitar) and Kristian Andersson (bass) as well as drummer Karl Daniel Liden and finally Robin Staps of Pelagic Records and The Ocean as third guitarist. It is a formidable cast for which anticipation and hunger for their live debut is immense, all instigated by the towering brute of a vicious album.
Stepping from behind a child’s spoken intro, opener In Fields immediately marks that this is not going to be an easy ride or a comfortable listen, the overwhelming intensity of the guitars and rhythms prowling by a snarling predator of a bass sound instantly oppressive and intimidating the senses. The doom loaded gait of the track holds the emotions down for the coarse riffs and sonic fires to smoulder upon thoughts, the vocals of Liljedahl scarring with a maelstrom of spite and despair. It is an encounter for which the word intensive barely gives justice, the primal essence and breath of the track filling and twisting every atom and feeling daring to show its face within the listener.
The following I’m Dead suggests a less vile proposition at first though the carnivorous throaty leer of the bass is never less than dramatically intimidating and the atmosphere from the first note fanged. It is mere moments though before flesh and senses burn under the rapacious malevolence borne, the near funereal thick crawl of the track as invasive as it is expansive with the sonic abrasiveness feeding greedily on any weakness and emotive doubt before its tempest.
Through Raveneye and The Old Wind the ugly coaxing continues, the songs demanding and receiving a less than willing embrace from awakened shadows but one needed to be made before the enthralling leviathan of darkness. As they and subsequent tracks gnaw and savagely take control of the ear and beyond, it is very easy to lose track of which song is which, at what point in the provocation you are, especially in periods where the vocals leave the tortuous sounds to exploit the darkness alone but this is not because tracks sound alike but down to the fact that the album is really one singular arduous nightmare being unveiled and dispelled. Certainly the tracks work individually but the reality of the full impact and massiveness of the work comes only in a full and continuous emergence from start to punishing finish.
As probably to be expected every aspect of the album is unquestionable, the textures and cavernous corners sculpted from the songwriting imperious through to the musicianship is second to none, the quality in sound as expressive and descriptive as the turmoil soaked vocals and lyrical evocation. It is hard to say that everything about the album is a joy to behold such its malevolent heart but in a time of so many sterile uninspired releases it creates a unique and grasping experience. As the final tracks in the sludge thick corrosive Spear Of A Thousand and the closing toxic instrumental Reign show though, happiness and joy has no place in this potent and painful ridding of inner devils.
Released via Pelagic Records, Feast On Your Gone is not for the faint hearted or maybe even those with their own battles to be fought, but it is a release which leaves long lasting ‘pleasure’ and permanent marks, a barbarous merciless treat.
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