Before taking the plunge into metal, I started out as a little punk rocker, eventually moving into hardcore. I used to draw the Black Flag bars and Dead Kennedy’s logo all over everything, and I readily admit that I still listen to those bands. I still have a soft spot for the genre, even if haven’t kept up with the scene recently, so I was pleasantly surprised with Finnmark by Ondt Blod.
Formed in 2013, Ondt Blod play hardcore that mixes new and old-school sounds, with melody and sledgehammer heaviness. Each track is like a crash-course in hardcore, with nearly every style in the genre covered, from the slightly Millencolin-esque “Nye Lydspor,” to the brooding post-hardcore “Finnmark.” I’m reminded of Kvelertak at times, as Ondt Blod manages to blend punk, hardcore, and a little bit of metal into a unique sound, such as in “Kompis Med Satan.” The sing-along choruses throughout are insanely catchy, with melodic guitar lines and gang vocals placing Ondt Blod firmly in the hardcore punk category.
The production is handled quite professionally, with a touch of reverb throughout, giving the songs a gritty edge, without sacrificing quality. “Symbola” starts off sounding like a classic black metal track, with a muddy tone (done completely for effect), before getting a boost in volume and clarity, and switching to a more traditional hardcore vibe. The pop punk moments might turn off fans looking for something a bit heavier, but if you like bands like Comeback Kid, Bane, with a little bit of Kvelertak, give Finnmark a try!