As one who entered the metal realm through the rusty gate of punk rock, I’ve held crust and d-beat close to my heart for years. The first time I heard Napalm Death circa 2002 I immediately thought, in my tender age, “Hey, this is like punk blown out of proportion and I love it for all of its insanity.” The history of punks rubbing shoulders with longhairs is an extensive one, and an album that beautifully marries the two worlds is Disfear’s 2008 album Live the Storm, which remains a cornerstone in the global crust/metal community.
Live the Storm is a roller coaster from start to finish. Imagine Motorhead’s bravado and hot guitar licks teaming up with the bulldozing rhythms of Discharge and the unfiltered aggression of Swedish metal, and that will put you in the ballpark of Disfear’s sophomore album. Tomas Lindberg’s vocals sound even more unhinged here than on any At the Gates release, and the guitars of Uffe Cederlund and Bjorn Peterson roar with the classic chainsaw tone, but instead of guitar harmonies, listeners are battered with fist-pumping, chest-caving riffs that draw from speed metal and hardcore, all infused with the clenched-fist fury of metal.
In many ways, Live the Storm can be viewed as one of the albums that started the current infatuation with the crust/hardcore/metal hybrids seemingly appearing out of nowhere, supported by labels like Southern Lord. But where many of the clones focus on fury, Lindberg and company elevate crust punk to near arena rock levels here; the insanely catchy choruses of burning opener “Get it Off” and mid-point marker “The Furnace” bristle with bombast and attitude, and through the right set of speakers, could tear a hole in the sky.
Hunker down for 35 minutes of pure adrenaline and get this bad boy blaring over your speakers. You’ll wanna go buy a Harley, guaranteed.