Mads Christensen 5212 Helvete

Mads Christensen - 5212 Helvete


A playful, vibrant, hard and raw release to keep you rocking through the warm summer days and nights - and beyond!

The Norwegian music scene, be it punk related, metal related, hard rock or anything else related has for the last twenty or thirty years been a thriving one. Living here, it is almost impossible to keep track of all the remarkable bands that form, reform, morph into something else and release good albums after good albums.

This new band with its debut release involves members with years of experience in the Punk, Hardcore and Hard Rock scene in Norway. They have been members in bands like Blood Command and Pybanen in the Bergen area of Norway. And thus, the name of their album 5212 Helvete, with the number being the postal area code for a place just south of Bergen on the west coast of Norway, but the name is not. That is Norwegian for Hell. And the name of the band is taken from the name of a serial arsonist that ravaged in Denmark in the 90s.

The musicians of this newly-formed band know how to engage the audience both live and on album. The song titles are as nihilistic as with any Punk band. And when the first vocalist of Blood Command, Silje Tombre, fronts the band, you know you are in for a treat. The first song ”Nice Nightmares” is a Hard Rock/Punk song, played fast and furiously. The vocals here are, as throughout the album, strong and vigorous, almost confrontational. However hard she sings, however high the notes, the voice never cracks. The song morphs into the next track ”Amazing Grave” without any obvious pause. It is equally fast, dynamic and towards the end a couple of saxophones join the fast music.

The third song, ”Yes I can, but I won´t” starts with some spoken words about taking acid in the 70s and being the scum, vermin of society. The lyrics’ first line establishes the song´s theme: ”You should never underestimate the freedom to not care”. The vocals almost resigned, the song is a bit lighter than the previous with nice bass licks. It picks up speed and we are in for a more laid-back song with the vocals being the most important element. At the end of the song there is a tempo shift where the guitars chug to the end of the song and it halts with a gong.

The siren on the fourth song, ”Step Into the Night” marks the start of the musical journey the next songs take us through. The band is playful as they use sounds from different styles. This fourth song is almost industrial metal in how it is played, and the growling metal vocal might be a dip into Death Metal. It ends with a short drum solo. So for the next song, ”Staying Alive” we are back in the Punk-Hardcore soundscape again with the strong female vocals, hard played guitar and a catchy melody. The synths hit the sonic landscape and the song swirls energetically towards its end.

We are in for some thrash metal on the sixth song, ”Are You Ready to Die” (a nod to Slayer?). The vocals pressed to counter fast guitar, fast drums and some serious bass licks. It is very powerful and when there is a sudden tempo shift and the song slows down a bit with heavy riffing and a solo guitar, the bass licks are heavy and a steady snare drum. The music flows heavily and dynamically towards psychedelic hard rock in the last part.

”I Do not have a Dream” starts out with a reference to ”Born to be Wild”, but a heavy bass lick and a swirling guitar quickly take the song for a turn towards modern vibrant Hard Rock. That seems more restrained at the start of the song, but are as engaging as the ones before. The guitars are played really virtuously on this song, making it quite intense and lifting the vocals up to what we are used to from the start. The album ends after 33 minutes with a song called ”Ung”. It might be stoner or it might be punk. Whatever it is, it is fierce with more than one vocalist yelling. While the song is on its most intense, it stops and slows down with some guitar picking, clean guitar and a heavy distorted guitar answering the others, finally ending with atmospheric guitars over the heavy bass.

This album might be your summer album to take to the beach, to dance to, to headbang to, to listen to during your training sessions or just while relaxing in the sun. It is uplifting and very fresh. That might be because each song was recorded in one take, no overthinking, the musicians going in with full force. And as it should be, the label also releases two gatefold LP versions, one of them limited.