Blessings – Biskopskniven (Review)

Blessings - BiskopsknivenThis is the second album from Blessings, a Swedish post-hardcore band.

Blessings merge elements of noise rock, post-rock, and sludge into their sound. The end result is an album of multifaceted post-hardcore, rich in textured nervous energy and bristling with raw emotional intensity. The promo blurb describes a mix of At the Drive In and Converge, and to this I’d add the swirling tribal maelstrom of some of Neurosis’ work and the intense emotive presence of Normal Jean’s atypical sound. This is a good place from which to regard Biskopskniven, and superficially succeeds in capturing the creative variety and individuality that Blessings offer.

Across the nine tracks of Biskopskniven Blessings ably demonstrate how skilled they are writing and delivering idiosyncratic music with character and variety. Creative ideas and nuances pepper the songs throughout the album, carefully crafted to the individual needs of any given section. These help provide even further personality to an already highly charismatic base.

I love it when an album uses percussion to its full potential, and Biskopskniven certainly does this. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the primary driving forces on most of these songs. The music benefits from a hypnotic quality that frequently arises from the application of rhythmic percussive elements to the songs. This approach works well for the band, and they use it to create songs that grow from this in a variety of ways.

More than just percussion though, the songs are layered with sound, from squealing guitars to expressive synths and much more besides. Sometimes aggressive, sometimes atmospheric, frequently both, Biskopskniven is a collection of tracks that mix together the foundational influences of the band very well, into music that is infectiously moreish.

Biskopskniven is an exceptional album. Blessings have truly tried to showcase a different facet of their musical makeup with every song, and they have succeeded. Biskopskniven is a dark joy to listen to.

Very highly recommended.

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