Die Hard is not just a typically macho American movie, but also a Swedish band formed in 2005 by bassist Harry to resurrect the old death/thrash spirit. Of course, Die Hard is also a Venom song.
The band’s influences were Venom, Sodom and Possessed. After several line-up changes Harry, singer/guitarist Hasse, guitarist Micke and drummer Nicke began working on music and entered Studio Hell in February of 2007. The band’s Emissaries Of The Reaper demo had a 200-copy pressing. Germany’s Anger Of Metal Records issued it in December as a 7”. Die Hard's first show was in Gothenburg in September where the band was supporting Norwegian doom metal band Syrach. Micke and Nicke left in January of 2008. A demo, called Evil Always Returns, was recorded at Studio Blueflame. That is also where the band recorded its debut album. Agonia Records issued an EP for the band in 2009 featuring a cover of Venom’s Die Hard.
Drummer Håkan Jonsson left Sweden’s Die Hard in the spring of 2010 in order to focus on his family life, but would continue in Watain. His temporary replacement for upcoming shows was an E. Forcas. Perra, who joined, was probably completing his quest to be in every Swedish band possible. Simultaneously, Die Hard signed a new deal with Agonia Records for two EPs and a full-length album.
The band’s new album, Conjure The Legions, would be released on September 25th, 2012 through Agonia Records.
DIE HARD – NIHILISTIC VISION – PULVERISED
Why would the band bother with a recording of an album if it were all doom and gloom? Nihilism, right? Pending the answer, the band has sold its soul to the masters at Pulverised Records and Venom. The cover is obviously inspired by the black metal fathers of 1984 and so is the music to some extent. There is more of a musical element to the songs of these Swedes than Venom bothered with on its first four albums, although the vocals are a good copy of Cronos of Venom. The music is more like a mix of early Sodom and early Living Death. Not that the band makes it easy for the listener. The album’s intro is Slayer-ish circa Hell Awaits and the first few bars are Macabre-like. Yikes. Things do pick up and fast however. The title track even has one of those high screams fans expected back in the day. It is an amalgam of speed and early Euro-thrash. The backing chants are probably the biggest hurdle on the disc, yet everything else seems like great metal pleasure. Hidden Face shows the bassist as being far too capable to be so low in the mix. The samples and the rudimentary soling on Bloody War are another match for fans of those early ‘80s underground favourites. Otherwise, the inverted crosses in the logo and the Satanic chants at the beginning of the album round up a comprehensive re-visiting of what made the ‘80s underground so fascinating.
This kind of black thrash metal apparently pops up every ten years. A decade ago, it was Osmose Productions that was issuing music like this. It is a statement for the style’s brilliance! – Anna Tergel