About To Get Hardcore With Swedish Metal Band LEACH
Exclusive Interview: It’s Only Thrash ‘N’ Roll But I Like It
If someone asked you to name something that Sweden is known for, the first things that come to your mind might be world class skiing, the ultra cool and famous Icehotel, the furniture giant IKEA, or maybe even meatballs. But if you ask a rock fan this same question, you’ll likely get a very different answer because Sweden has become a mecca for metal fans around the world. The Nordic country boasts a thriving extreme music scene and its capital city of Stockholm has given the world a heavy dose of metal with bands like Entombed, Opeth, and Candlemass calling it home. Of course, we can’t talk about Swedish metal without mentioning the city of Gothenburg which gave rise to a whole new rebirth of metal in the form of melodic death metal, affectionately known as melodeath, with major metal acts like In Flames, At the Gates, and The Haunted leading the way. Just under forty miles outside Gothenburg, lies the city of Boras which is about to unleash a whole new chapter of the Swedish metal scene onto the world with the hardcore thrash of extreme metal band LEACH.
The band got their start way back in 2003 at a local youth center where you were allowed to pick up instruments and teach yourself how to play. Vocalist Markus Wikander, bass guitarist Anders Nordlander, and drummer Joachim Dahlstrom all grew up in the same area and have known each other since the first grade turning their friendships into a foray into music with LEACH. Playing songs from Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Pantera, and the Cranberries at their first gig, they knew music was what they were born to do. Building on the foundations of their Swedish predecessors in The Haunted and Entombed, LEACH has established a style and a sound that makes them stand out from the crowd with their own blend of thrash, hardcore, metal, punk and even a bit of traditional rock and roll.
It’s heavy. It’s melodic. It’s thrash ‘n’ roll!
The band has been busy in recent years with their first full length album Blindfold released in 2012 and a follow up EP Above All in 2014. Along with playing everywhere and anywhere they can, LEACH has been honing their songwriting skills and perfecting their craft. All their hard work just may be paying off as their latest record Hymns For The Hollow may be the big breakthrough album they have been waiting for. The album was produced by Mike Cameron Force and mastered by Jacob Hansen who is best known for his work with the Danish rockers of Volbeat.
If you’re looking for pure aggression, you’ve come to the right place. Hymns For The Hollow will quite literally knock you on your ass from the sheer force of the music. The opening riff of “We Have It All” quickly grabs your attention and draws you in as you pump your fist in the air. The anthemic vibe makes it easy to imagine the tune being played live in stadiums and at music festivals all over the world. The melodic beast that is “The Untouchables” will easily win over fans with a Hatebreed type feel and “Chapter Two” pays homage to the roots of metal with a gloom and doom Sabbath-esque opening before the guitars kick in and the song jets off at the speed of light. Speaking of speed, if you’re a fan of thrash, you’ll want to check out the super sonic speed of “New Low” and “Framgangssagan,” which are a great mix of the old thrash metal vibe with all the extreme needed for great modern metal tunes.
“Free From All” is a bit more old school metal combined with an ultra heavy feel making it a perfect example of everything LEACH is capable of. Throughout it all, vocalist Wikander is in pure beast mode, screaming and shouting with the best of them, but never losing his melodic appeal while the rhythm section of Norlander and Dahlstrom relentlessly drive the frenzied pace. Due to the time commitments necessary in an up and coming band like LEACH, guitarist Victor Liesto left the band a few months ago. After an extensive audition process, Jamie Andersson was brought into the fold and is now handling guitar duties. According to Wikander, Andersson has been a great fit for the band thus far and things are continuing to move forward full steam ahead.
Shutter 16 had the opportunity to chat with singer Markus Wikander and find out all about the making of Hymns For The Hollow and everything that LEACH has been up to. Check out the full interview with Markus below and get in on the next big thing to hit the metal scene. I know it’s only thrash ‘n’ roll, but you’ll like it!