Nasum Helvete

Sweden's best grindcore band have outdone themselves yet again — Helvete is their best album. Furthering on its predecessor's welcome forays into big grooves and catchy melodies alongside their ferocious grindcore, Helvete has everything Human 2.0 had, in bigger and better doses. "It's more of everything," says drummer Anders Jakobson. "More grind, more groove, more strange shit and a kick-ass production. People's opinions seem to depend on personal taste because some say it's more metal, while others say it's more hardcore. So we say it's more of everything." The band does indeed mosh on the periphery of both genres, along with a crust punk influence in some of the riffs and the socially aware lyrics. But unlike most crust bands, Nasum continues to grow in their songwriting, adding in more breathing room without sacrificing the aggression. "It's hard, because we have to work hard to write better songs with each album and also work hard to not repeat what we've already done before," says Jakobson. It pays off with a huge, clear production sound that brings out all the players, Helvete is a slice of grindcore heaven, propelled by Jakobson's formidable drumming. And geez, playing this stuff has got to hurt the hands after a while; what keeps the Nasum fires burning? "I would say the knowledge that we actually have a lot of people that listen to our music. We have to do it for the fans!" (Relapse)