New blog, new interview series

It's been a long time coming, but I've finally got something new up and running at my new blog site Harsh R: The State of Swedish Industrial
Check it out, let me know what you think, spread the word! Look for more entries in the series soon along with more posts on the miscellaneous dark-themed music I've been listening to, Swedish/Scandinavian and otherwise.

So long, farewell

Stick a fork in me, I'm done. After 10 years of near-daily blogging I have decided to walk away from It's a Trap!, a decision that I have weighed for quite some time and one that did not come easily. This site has been a major part of my life the past decade and while I treasure that time greatly, both via the music and all of the absolutely lovely people I've met along the way, I've become increasingly tired, burnt-out and simply far too busy to give it the attention it truly deserves. So, rather than let you bear witness to my slow descent into a crispy shell of bitter cynicism, I'm getting out while the getting's still good. Thanks to all of the amazing bands and labels who I have worked with and whose art has inspired me, thanks to everyone who ever contributed an article, review or even an email recommendation, thanks to Jonas for handling the clubnights so admirably and most of all, thanks to YOU for reading! I doubt I'll ever stop caring about music, Scandinavian or otherwise, so I'm sure I will eventually resurface somewhere else before long. Until then, keep in touch!

Nexus Kenosis - ElsewhenNexus Kenosis
Elsewhen
Progress Productions

7

"Elsewhen" finds longtime Swedish audio terrorist Henrik Nordvargr Björkk (MZ.412, Nordvargr, etc.) taking on the esoteric industrial sound of "Last rights"-era Skinny Puppy, a period defined more by abstract sonic skull-fuckery than direct songwriting. This approach definitely raises the barrier of entry, but hardy listeners will be rewarded by a rich and complex tapestry of sound, one that's far more concerned with mood and texture than anything resembling typical verses or choruses. Definitely not for everyone, but strongly recommended for fans of the genre and/or anyone seeking out more adventurous music.
- Avi Roig

I Break Horses - Load your eyes (live at Room 205)

The camera work in this live clip is totally obnoxious, but thankfully the performance by I Break Horses far outshines it.

Spiders - Flash pointSpiders
Flash point
Crusher Records

6

Spiders have always had a great sound and a killer frontwoman, but the quality of their first few releases was hampered by mediocre songwriting. "Flash point", the band's debut full-length, thankfully makes marked improvement in that department, though it still falls short of the band's surface potential. A few solid jammers to be sure, just not enough to keep me coming back for repeat listens.
- Avi Roig

Suffer the Pain - The last massacre

Should have posted this days ago, but it got lost in the shuffle. Raw metal/punk from Sweden released on cassette, just as it should be. Look for a split 7" with fellow crust-metallers Bombs of Hades in the near future.

Pitchfork says Susanne Sundfør is Best New Music

Pitchfork finally gets hip to the amazing Susanne Sundfør, bestowing their "Best New Music" tag on the single "White foxes": http://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/14304-white-foxes/

Listen to Norway Band of the Week: Moskus

The young jazz piano trio Moskus is Listen to Norway's latest band of the week: http://www.listento.no/mic.nsf/doc/art2012092512363985846646

Terrible Feelings - Next round's on you (video)

New visuals from Terrible Feelings filmed while on tour in Europe.

Taken By Trees album stream

The new Taken By Trees album "Other worlds" is currently streaming in its entirety as a YouTube playlist.

The Sweet Serenades - Can't get enough (video)

Swedish powerpop act The Sweet Serenades now have a video for their latest single "Can't get enough".

Tobias Hellkvist - Everything is connectedTobias Hellkvist
Everything is connected
Home Normal

8

Tobias Hellkvist makes such lovely drone music. I tend to listen to so much stuff in a more "dark ambient" style that I forget just how pretty this kind of music can be, but Tobias is always there to remind me. "Everything is connected" is his fourth full-length I believe and probably his most abstract to date -- I keep listening to it in an effort to single out highlights or pick out individual melodies, but the compositions always manage to escape me, float on by and lull me into a blissful meditative state. Bear in mind, that is by no means a complaint; simply a comment on how the record so easily envelopes me and my thoughts. And then, each time it ends, I find myself surprised at the sudden silence. For music that doesn't really "do" anything more than drift like tendrils of fog, it's a compelling experience and one well worth seeking out.
- Avi Roig

Dinner - You are like LA

New music from Dinner aka Danish artist/producer Anders Rhedin, probably best known for his work behind the scenes with Choir of Young Believers and also as an ex-member of Jong Pang. "You are like LA" is the title track of the first of two EPs to be released via .

Then Comes Silence - Slowly dragging you down

Swedish music distributor is finally up on SoundCloud and the first thing they have posted in the excellent new track from Swedish goth/postpunk/shoegazers Then Comes Silence.

Bombs of Hades - The serpent's redemptionBombs of Hades
The serpent's redemption
Pulverised Records

5

Old school Swedish death metal is the order of day from this Swedish four-piece. It's all simple enough stuff, quite reminiscent of a less-tech Tribulation in places. "The serpent's redemption" likes to groove a lot and it makes this album sound something along the lines of old school thrash meets old school death 'n' roll. It's nothing really to write home about, but at the same time it's littered with cool parts from start to finish. Sadly, those cool parts are too short-lived and strewn between endless average sequences that often outstay their welcome. The title track is a prime example; a no mark main riff that's drawn out for way, way, way, way, way, way too long. So: there's nothing new, the riffs are average (at best), everything lasts too long and the good parts are few and far between. It's hard to see how anybody in tune with this particular scene would want this over the plethora of other releases out there. Sorry.
- John Norby