Abandoned by Bears – “Headstorm”


Sweden’s Abandoned by Bears return with their second album, Headstorm,  a mix of individual pop punk and metalcore songs and songs that blend the two styles.

Abandoned by Bears have been together as a band since 2012 and live scattered across Sweden, which undoubtedly makes for some challenges in recording.  For Headstorm, the band opted to have Buster Odeholm (Impact Studios) handle the mixing and mastering in contrast to their previous work where the band handled everything.  Even the recording itself had a good bit of variety as the band used multiple studios in Malmo and Trelleborg. With the release of the album on August 24th, the band kicks off a US tour with support from Light Up the Sky, Boys of Fall, and We Were Sharks.

Interestingly, Abandoned by Bears have chosen the first and last tracks off Headstorm to be videos for the album.  The opening track “So Far Gone” is over the top pop punk along the lines of Blink-182, Good Charlotte,  and numerous others and the from a style standpoint, there are brief glimpses of guitars that seem a bit too heavy and maybe that should have been my tip off to what was to come.  In sharp contrast is the last track “Greyscale” which is full on metalcore complete with the chugging deep riff expected from a 7- or 8-string guitar.  Gone are the syrupy bright vocals, replaced with deep growled screams and lines like “Back the f*&^ up…” and breakdowns that sound familiar to anyone who has listened to the genre.

Since I wasn’t familiar with the band before this album, it was a bit of an odd journey as “So Far Gone” and “Headstorm” led me to wrongly believe this was going to be a pop punk album. Duel vocalists Frederic Andersson and Leon Ekelund have great voices for pop punk and not until toward the end of the third track “Strangers” did I start to suspect something else was going on.  “Borderline” made me initially question what happened to my album as this is when the metalcore comes in, sharing the song with some more pop punk.  Unfortunately, the metalcore while unexpected falls into what seems overly predictable to me even if you have it pop up in a pop punk song.

Most of the rest of the tracks blend the pop punk with the metalcore in what seems almost to be a progression to the final track Greyscale where the pop punk is abandoned entirely in favor of metalcore. For me, this blending of genres seemed a bit confused and forced and both the pop punk and metalcore parts of the album sounded a bit stereotypical for the genres, and this just didn’t work for me.  That being said, the performances are strong and production is top notch, so If blending genres is your thing, check out Headstorm.

Rating: 6/10

Written by John Jackson

1. So Far Gone
2. Headstorm
3. Strangers
4. Borderline
5. Blurry Vision
6. Stepping Stones
7. Fervor
8. Drowned Out
9. Outrun Reality
10. Held Against You
11. Greyscale

Band Members
Fredric Andersson – Vocals
Leon Ekelund – Vocals
Jacob Devinder – Guitar
Gustav Eriksson – Bass
Max Fahlman – Drums

Record Label:  Victory Records

Release Date: August 24th. 2018

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Video for ‘So Far Gone’

Video for ‘Greyscale’


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