Abandoned by Bears: Swedes with a Stiff Upper Lip
Written by: Matt Drummond
When I think of Taylor Swift, I just hope that her next break up is with her guitar. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine anyone could transform any of her songs into something cool. Well, I was dead wrong on that one. Fredric Andersson (vocals), Leon Ekelund (vocals), Jacob Devinger (guitar), Gustav Eriksson (bass), and Max Fahlman (drums), make up the Swedish band by the name of Abandoned by Bears, and they achieved that very task.
When a band is capable of achieving such a daunting task, it becomes undeniable that the talent is churning in these guys. Not too long after the dawning of Abandoned by Bears, a Chicago record label began to take notice. Priding themselves on possessing a passion for everything DIY, the band signed with Victory Records a few years back, I asked Gustav if he missed anything about being a free agent band.
“No, Victory Records has polarizing figures within the company. They’ve created an environment where we can have fun. Dude, we’re from Sweden. It’s expensive just getting to America, and Victory has made that happen for us the last three years in a row. It’s a dream come true in a lot of ways.”
The 11 track album, ‘Headstorm’, follows the same basic recipe that the previous releases did. ‘Headstorm’ is littered with catchy, harmonious hooks, that draw listeners in instantaneously. The album is also littered with crushing riffs, and breakdowns. As you listen to Abandoned by Bears, it’s kinda like half the time it’s feel good music that makes you smile, and the other half makes you want to open up a bloody pit. The transition from style, to style, flows very smoothly. As the band grows musically, each album continues to sound tighter, and embody an improved overall structure.
“Each release gets better. We’ve learned how to put together songs in a more cohesive, free flowing way. If you listen to our earlier songs, there’s like weird tempo changes. We were experimenting a lot, not really thinking this would become what it is. We still want to have fun, but we also want to present something that focuses on the whole package. When i hear a good melody, it can deliver goosebumps, and I’ve always wanted to emulate that. If you’re able to get that kind of feeling, it’s like some sort of aesthetic adrenaline, it’s weird.”
When I hear the improvements Abandoned by Bears made on this record, it screams determination. Musicians who inspire each other to become great, and continue to strive for knowledge, are usually going places. Everyone who even sort of knows me, knows I’m a death metal guy. With that said, I honestly really enjoyed ‘Headstorm’. I definitely would not put a death metal label on the band, but that’s irrelevant. Abandoned by Bears has made a great record, and it really makes no difference which sub genre you consider it. Musicians either have heart, and write good music, or they don’t, and these guys are bursting at the seams with heart.
The first ten tracks are fun to listen to. They’re upbeat, but still maintain that edge that all metal fans require. The album closes with ‘Greyscale’, and it is hands down my favorite off ‘Headstorm’. It’s a bruiser, and in my opinion, the heaviest offering this time around. ‘Greyscale’ is a reminder for everyone, that Abandoned by Bears is perfectly capable of putting together brutally heavy songs if they wanted to do everything in that style.
‘Headstorm’ officially hits shelves on August 24th. Even better news, is the band will be in the states for a US tour at the same time. The tour will kick off on August 24th, in Chicago, at the Cobra Lounge. They will be making a good amount of stops, so make sure you check the tour dates. You won’t want to miss out on these guys. Abandoned by Bears is a very talented band, and also very nice guys.
“I’m just hoping to experience as much as I can. When the thing you love doing the most, also acts like a vehicle to go on awesome adventures with your best friends, it’s a rich life. I just hope we get to keep going as long as we can.”