Record Reviews

Horndal “Head Hammer Man”

Horndal has created an interesting concept album about a traumatic 1909 workers’ strike in Sweden.

Swedish metal band Horndal is hard to describe. The band’s music is angry and aggressive. But it also has great melodies. At times it is industrial. Sometimes it is almost doomy and other times it is straight-up hard rock. Throughout all the musical twists and turns it has excellent guitar work. It is an eclectic take on metal. It is chaotic, full of contrasts and very good. The new concept album is a rather ambitious project but these Swedish lads pull it off. “Head Hammer Man” is a concept album based on an industrial strike by workers in rural Sweden in 1909. The story follows the striking workers’ leader, 27-year-old Alrik Andersson, a.k.a. Head Hammer Man, a union leader who stood up for his fellow workers who were not only facing salary cuts or job losses but were being evicted from their homes too. It is a fascinating story about strike action that almost led to a civil war in Sweden when the government sent the armed forces to face the striking workers. Horndal’s album is the band’s ode to resistance and the previously untold story of Alrik Andersson. The Horndal members – Henrik Levahn (vocals and guitar), Pontus Levahn (drums), Fredrik Boëthius Fjärem (guitar) and Daniel Ekeroth (bass) – are also telling the story in a book that is being released at the same time as the album. The musical highlights for me on this terrific ten-track album are “Exiled”, “Fuck the Scabs” and “Blacklisted”, although it is a rather even album that is good throughout. The album features guest appearances by Martin Hederos (The Soundtrack of Our Lives) and Henrik Palm (In Solitude, Ghost, Viagra Boys).

Horndal’s new album “Head Hammer Man” will be out on 5th April via Prosthetic Records.