Swedish hardcore against the powerful few: Fredag den 13:e

FREDAG DEN 13:E – Dystopisk Utsikt

Band: Fredag den 13:e
Title: Dystopisk Utsikt
Year: 2018
Country: Sweden
Label: Epidemic Records / Halvfabrikat Records / Alerta Antifascista / Every Day Hate / Deviance Records
Contacts:  Facebook  Bandcamp  Spotify

      1. Plågad Av Ljuset
      2. 1984
      3. Sälj Mig Lycka
      4. Fängslad Mentalt
      5. Dödad Av Tid
      6. Av Skuld Och Skam
      7. Arbete Ger Frihet
      8. Allting Är Lidande
      9. Orsak Föder Orsak
      10. Är Du Hora Eller Gud
      11. Din Sista Dag

If you live somewhere around Europe — but perhaps also if you are elsewhere in the world — you probably know that on September 9 elections are going to be held in Sweden and that, as usual, there is a growing nationalist party, while the so-called moderate parties appear to be losing their charm against this mirror-image of themselves. And yet, also in Sweden there is a huge social bloc that strives to break this apparent dichotomy between the two faces of the Capital, refuting conservatives, nationalists, religious hierarchies, cheaters and so on.

Fredag den 13:e have been around for more than a decade now, and have already become a staple in the lively Gothenburg hardcore-crust scene. Dystopisk Utsikt (“Dystopic Vision”) is their fourth album, once again released with the French label Deviance, and with the support of a handful of other partners (including the Italian Epidemic Records).

The cover sets things straight from the start: the world represented by this humongous church is a bearer of death and is the exact opposite of what the quintet would like to see. I won’t proceed with an unlikely analysis of the lyrics, as Swedish isn’t exactly my first language, but I will try and highlight some of the main themes. In “Plågad Av Ljuset” (“Plagued By Light”), the light preached by religious orders becomes evil; of course they have something in store about consumerism as well in “Sälj Mig Lycka” (“Sell Me Happiness”), and each song is a fiery attack against the many faces of the exploitation operated by the powerful few. About thirty-four minutes of social rage which you might probably need as well.

As for music, it is… well, hardcore-crust of perfectly suitable Swedish flavor (people who have clearly listened to lots of Wolfbrigade, just to give out a name), so do not expect delicate arpeggioes or elegant atmospheres. I would say my favorite song on here is “Arbete Ger Frihet” (I don’t think we need a translation in this case) with its whirling pace and the piercing shrieks coming from who knows horror and doesn’t want it to happen again.

Over these weeks, Fredag den 13:e are taking their dystopic vision around Europe, appearing for example at the Paranoya Festival in Dresden. As I write, we don’t know the political future of Sweden yet, but what’s sure is that Fredag den 13:e will stand firmly and loyally on the same side.