Nine Circles is a metal blog. First and foremost. But a few of us have a penchant for D-Beat and crust punk. Even more so, Swedish D-Beat. So when 偏執症者 (it means Paranoid) arrives in our inbox, and D-Beat is seen in the description, you can bet there is a brief war over who gets to cover it. As a founding member of Nine Circles, I won. Thus, you get to listen to me drone on about how great punk rock is as a genre, ideal and philosophy. And I get to do that by describing Satyagraha, the newest release from Swedish D-Beat psychopaths 偏執症者.
Although this is their first official LP, 偏執症者 should be no surprise name to people paying attention. Their 2015 effort landed them a few top spots on some D-Beat lists for that year. Since their inception in 2012 the boys have only gotten angrier, more raw and more determined to produce punk rock that melts faces. And that’s exactly what they do on Satyagraha. The album opens in classic punk fashion with audio samples on the first track “Kaihou” before a brief grind track ends. And that’s when the real album begins. “Kenzennaru Seishin Houkai” is a burning quick d-beat song very much in the vein of fellow countrymen Skitsystem. The song flies, with reverb-heavy vocals that mimic multiple vocalists, a few burning solos mixed underneath the d-beat drums and pure, unadulterated aggression.
Not unlike the typical d-beat format, 偏執症者 doesn’t have many forms. The band steps outside their box on “Bouryoku” opening with a two-step and dropping fuzzy guitars over the classically British beat. That track meanders across roughly three-and-a-half minutes before “Nangijala (Shigo No Sekai)” blows the damn doors off the thing. Potentially the most aggressive of the bunch, the track features blistering drums and vocals mixed a-typically in the background (underneath the wailing guitars). There are also tracks like “Kyogi Sakuryaku” which could not be more perfectly crust in their composition and production.
There are a few forms of d-beat and punk. While bands like Wolfbrigade, Tragedy and Victims take a more up front, well-produced approach, 偏執症者joins Skitsystem, Disclose and Totalitär in producing a more raw, knife’s edge style of crusty d-beat. For all the arguments in 2016 about what constitutes “punk rock” I can tell you: this does. 偏執症者 is 1,000% punk in all of its forms and touches. They are violent, aggressive, raw, uncompromising and fully unrelenting. Borrowing from the Japanese school (Crow Air Attack, Societic Death Slaughter and G.I.S.M.) and blending that with the Swedish school (Anti-Cimex, Avskum and Mob 47) and finishing it off with just a touch of the American school (Crucifix, Witch Hunt and Final Conflict) 偏執症者 creates a perfect take on the current state of the global punk scene.
I could wax philosophical about D-Beat and crust punk for the next 4,000 words but I will spare you the history lesson. 偏執症者 is punk in its rawest form and kudos to Southern Lord for taking up the opportunity to release this gem. The band is about to hit the west coast with Canadian crusties Absolut. Your life (particularly in the summer) simply isn’t complete without a heavy dose of d-beat from time to time. So put this album on as loudly as possible and break everything within your personal radius. Satyagraha is about as upbeat as D-Beat gets.