Riwen – The Cold (Indie Recordings)

Genre: Hardcore

When Cult Of Luna’s Johannes Persson decided to honour the heroes of his youth by forming Riwen, he wasn’t messing about. The Swede’s love of gritty hardcore acts like Integrity and Judge is written all over The Cold – his day job may involve being a post-rock visionary, but with Riwen, he’s moonlighting as a punk rock riot starter. Listening to the likes of Rise Up and incendiary opener Crucifix, and you have to say it suits him.

If last year’s self-titled EP whetted our appetites, then The Cold is something of a feast, with 12 tracks to gorge on, ranging from the doom-laced, downbeat (and rather wonderful) Stalking a Wounded Wolf to high octane, smash and grab raids such as I See War and Strife And Hate.

The production could have been beefier, but that would just be nitpicking, as The Cold still slaps you around the chops and stamps on your head like it’s supposed to. Plus, the grimy, raw feel does give the album a certain rough and ready charm.

One of the best hardcore albums you’ll hear all year, from one of Sweden’s most talented songwriters, this is a cold worth catching. Richard Holmes