Dystopian Dreams


These Scandinavian metalist didn’t come here to fuck around.
February 5, 2024

Here are some descriptions of HARMAGEDON that I bumped into before actually listening to them: Stoner Metal, Hardcore, Grind ‘n’ Roll, combo of Melodic Death and Crust Punk. One of those things is not like the other. Spoiler alert, HARMAGEDON is not a Stoner Metal band. Not even remotely. For simplicity, we’ll just call them Hardcore and get on with it. Just be sure that these Scandinavian metalist didn’t come here to fuck around. Or maybe they did, but in that brutal riffage kind of way that will make your eardrums bleed and your woofers cry for mercy. On November 17, 2023 they unleashed their debut album, “Dystopian Dreams,” via Svart Records.

“Dystopian Dreams” comprises nine quick tracks. Twenty-nine minutes, if you’re counting. The production values are a bit flat, which may be down to it being recorded live in their studio—but in the trade-off between polished vs. raw, I’ll take raw every time. As far as theme, there is no single concept the album is built around—apart from distortion and destruction, that is.

There’s a lot going on with this album style wise. You get the down-tuned bottom of Doom and Death mixed with the technical guitar leads. The tempo never hits breakneck but there is a recklessness about the album—which might loop back to the mix—that says Hardcore. The riffs are as harsh as the vocals (Tim Rosenquist on both) but not at the velocity of Speed or Thrash. The rhythm section of Magnus Berglund (bass) and Jens Bäckelin (drums) is as tight as you would expect from a well-seasoned trio.

The tracks are all fairly consistent on the heavy scale and there isn’t anything too inventive going on. “Straight Out of Hell” is the most interesting track of the lot. Plenty of twists and drops with this one. It also features a raw as hell solo that gnaws the fuck out of the last minute or so. “The Reckoning” is another standout track, with a nasty bassline and slow burn solo that just takes it’s sweet ol’ time. And as the title would suggest there is a massive cascade that breaks the song’s back and then washes the carnage back out to sea. The last on my favs list is probably “Expedition” which plays like a prolonged study of buzzing harmony—like a hornet’s nest.

Overall, a steady and solid debut from HARMAGEDON. The best features are Tim’s lead solos as he flexes fluidly from severe and urgent to graceful and soaring. Poor production might have covered some of the band’s finer points, but then again this is a debut album. If nothing else, it’s good to hear something unrefined coming out of Sweden for once.

6 / 10

Had Potential








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"Dystopian Dreams" Track-listing:

1. Reptilian     

2. Full Circle   

3. Controlled Chaos   

4. Sadness Comes

5. The Reckoning                   

6. Expedition  

7. Dystopian Dreams 

8. Straight Outta Hell 

9. Black Lung


Harmagedon Lineup:

Magnus Berglund – Bass

Jens Bäckelin – Drums

Tim Rosenquist – Vocals, guitars


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