Released on Suicide Records on Friday 26 May 2023.
False Haven (2023) is (as far as I can deduce) the third full-length album from Swedish doom / sludge / post-metal band Vorder.
The band has been around since the last century, although the line-up has changed a little. In the mid 90s the personnel of Vorder were all heavily involved with the Swedish underground music scene. It was from this metaphorical mixing bowl of death, thrash, punk and hardcore that contributed to the heaviness of Vorder.
In 1994, Andreas Baier and Jonas Gryth formed the hardcore outfit Amend, which was the starting point for what was later to become Vorder, after its earlier incarnation, Clean Shade of Dirty, which featured Per Sodomizer Eriksson on guitar (Bloodbath, Katatonia).
After the Patternbreaker (2006) EP that was recorded in studio Ear, Vorder was on a hiatus for ten years before recording the full-length album Pathogenisis (2016) and its follow up, Led into Exile (2018).
Since then their sound has descended towards more heaviness and depth, laced with the ever-present cynicism of a world crumbling to its knees. What started conceptually over 20 years ago as a straight path towards a better life with a socio-political agenda has during the years evolved into a realm of survivalism in an ever-increasing nihilistic environment.
Vorder experiment with different styles, influences and dynamics throughout these six new songs that not only sound intoxicatingly unique but also demonstrate a thoughtful and impressive cohesion. Tracks such as opener “Introspective” (track 1) or “Come Undone” (track 6) are driven by crushing and slow riffs in the vein of post-metal acts like Neurosis or Isis, but are magnificently enhanced by alluring and continuous melodies that brings to mind the darker side of Alice In Chains.
For me, the highlight of the album is the title track “False Haven” (track 4) which has a driving, bouncing groove metal vibe accompanied by crushing, growling vocals, but with a catchy melody that weaves itself throughout the track.
“Judgement awaits” (track 5) goes in a different direction—a sad, slow doom-laden powerhouse of a track that moves like lava consuming everything in its path. Fabulous!
There’s a clear dichotomy of light and dark to be found throughout False Haven (2006) where heavily dense riffs are constantly interlaced with captivating and beautiful melodies.
This has been a delight to listen to this past week.
Review score: 85%
Viral Propaganda PR contacted me inviting me to preview Vorder’s latest album, thank you. I have no connections to either Viral Propaganda PR or Vorder. I’m not being paid to review this, but I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to Viral Propaganda PR, and to Vorder for continuing to create fresh, exciting new music.