Mysterious Swedes Mylingar mix your senses into panic, further smear reality with ‘Döda Själar’

Entering into the mouth of madness, a strange coil in which you’re shuttled forcefully to a destination not of your choosing and that hasn’t exactly been cleared with you beforehand, there you are, thirsting for breath. That never seems to come as the horrors only multiply, and you’re left trying to decide what to do yourself when this violent adventure ends. If it ends.

That’s how it felt for me tackling “Döda Själar,” the miasmal second release from Mylingar, a strange Swedish black and death metal entity that operates behind a shroud of mystery. That means I have no idea who makes up this band, but that really doesn’t matter at all. If anything, it makes the music scarier because while they claim a Scandinavian home, I don’t know if they’re telling the truth. The way their tar soup death trap that is their music pours out, this band could be an alien enterprise here to fool us dumb fucks on earth who can’t seem to get out of our own way on our pathways to stupid. These seven tracks wrapped over 40 tornadic minutes are powerful and scathing, easily defacing what’s left of your fragile psyche.

“Obalansen” starts the record in the midst of immediate panic as guitars torpedo, and the strangling growls cause your mouth to slobber spit and blood. The pummeling filth piles high as the music sets to destroy you, the words are gurgled, and everything comes to a disorienting end. “Nedstigningen” gets started with weird grinding before the growls enter the fray, and then things just burst into pieces. The music spirals as madness cooks in a boiling cauldron, meanwhile things get meaner and nastier, as all sense is thrown into a fire, and all that’s left is sanity’s ashes. “Offret” rises from the scum as the drums maul, the vocals choke on vomit, and tricky riffs send everything for a loop. Wild cries echo and charge, and then the band dials up another violent outburst that peels the flesh from your face and comes to an end in a sickening echo.

“Bländningen” storms and then catches fire, as monstrous growls penetrate, and a quick burst of high anxiety makes the chemicals in your brain freak the fuck out. The strange assault continues, making the room spin dangerously as sounds crash into weirdness. “Mållösheten” has feedback wailing before heading into doomier terrain. The pace is filthy and nauseating as the melodies bring great confusion, and the playing spins through outer space. The back end is heavy and disarming, with the track bashing your fingers as it closes. “Giftet” has dark guitars churning before the pace is torn apart, and everything is beaten down in its path. The playing is both muddy and suffocating, giving off a feel that everything is spinning out of control, with no way to restore order. Closer “Forlusten” runs 10:16 and is the longest cut on here, opening with a raging fury and angrier, faster growls. The track simmers and gives off steam, but later on things get tricky and punchy, as the track melts the flesh from your bones. Guitars sizzle, the growls terrify, and things end in a creepy echo pit, with the track coming to a demonic end.

The terror here is real, it’s tangible, and it will get inside your blood and sicken you before you even have a chance to absorb what’s happening. Mylingar’s chaos multiplies on “Döda Själar,” a record that feels like a full trip into and through hell, with no escape plan on the agenda. It’s terrifying music for terrified people, and it’ll totally destroy your brain.

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