I spoke to some dude on twitter a little while ago who described Irving Force as being, "Too extreme and Black Metal" for his tastes. I found this comment insanely confusing as I wasn't aware that Adam Skog (Aka Irving Force) was off burning down churches or devouring the souls of children. I mean, has this guy even heard Irving Force? I’m thinking he probably hadn’t. The truth is and to clear up any confusion amongst our readers, Adam Skog from Stockholm, Sweden has been creating music for a number of years and is a former member of 'Vapenlicens' and was vocalist in the black metal outfit, 'Vanhävd’. If you’re out there presumptuous Twitter dude, Im thinking this maybe where you’re getting your wires crossed.
Adam’s interest for 80s retro music had blossomed after he became interested in scoring music for movies, which later saw him compose his own score and submit it for a short retro flick called 'Angel in the city'. Although unsuccessful in that particular venture, he found himself deeply intertwined and intrigued by the musical path he had taken, this was the beginnings of Irving Force and the rest as they say, is history.
Following his widely regarded debut EP 'The Undercover'. Irving Force has returned with a brand new 4 track entitled, 'The Violence Suppressor'. Although shorter in length than its predecessor, Skog punches bigger and harder this time around and his musical prowess is currently roaring. Second records often come with a great deal of pressure attached to them and artists often take one of two paths. The first path being to churn out more of the same old material and the other is to move forward and take things to a new level. In the case of Violence Suppressor, what we have here is a game changer that possesses a next level type of groove and although it’s not drastically different to ‘The Undercover EP’, it’s great to see Irving Force step things up a notch.
As a whole, the EP plays as a sort of fictional soundtrack to a movie, following the enforcer of justice, Irving Force as he wades through the gang ridden streets of a dishevelled future land. Opening track ‘Sewer Wars’ has it all, winding synth licks and a slamming guitar hook that will no doubt inspire some air guitar from the majority of you. The track's backbone consists of some truly huge beats and the drum sound is absolutely immense if you dare to crank up the volume. Next up is ‘Population control unit: Mk-12’ which is brilliantly arranged and has a really cool dropout point at about 2:40, before erupting into a all too seldom heard sax solo. It actually left me wanting to listen to 'Baker Street' by Gerry Rafferty. ‘Crime Scanner’ is the third track and is another great example of the effortless sound that Irving Force has began to build, it’s slickly delivered and keeps things simple before hitting you with a barrage of interesting sounds. Last but not least we arrive at ‘Gridlock shootout’ which begins with a slow paced beat together with some light fuzz, giving us time to breathe for a moment before its breaks into another fully fledged floor stomper. I really like how Skog likes to drop out all the music before shifting the tracks direction as it comes back in. it sometimes feels almost spontaneous, as if you were listening to the results of a jam session.
With a nod of the head to the likes of Jan Hammer, John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream, 'The Violence Suppressor' is more than just 4 tracks thrown together and its certainly more intricate than most would probably give it credit for. It’s a very solid and energetic return for the Swede and its clear and concise nature only enforces the impact it’s able to have on the listener. Irving Force has really taken the bull by the horns and immersed himself within the synth scene and it’s great to see so many people embracing his work. Whether you’re a fan of the darker synth sound or not, this is cool record and I urge you not to let this one pass you by.