State of Disconnection

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From Abba and the Cardigans to jazz improvisers like Lina Nyberg and Jeanette Lindström, singing in English hasn't been a problem for Swedish artists. While some Swedish rockers and popsters choose to sing in Swedish exclusively and are content to play for mostly Scandinavian audiences, others make a point of becoming fluent in English. So if you checked out the Stockholm club scene in the 1980s and 1990s, you would have found everything from dance-pop and hard bop to thrash metal performed in English. On State of Disconnection, Stillborn's lead singer Henke gives little, if any, indication that English isn't his native language. Though Swedish is his primary tongue, Henke's English is fine. In fact, forceful yet melodic numbers such as "House of Love" and "The Tension Grows" could have easily come from an American thrash act. Influenced by bands like Metallica and Anthrax, Stillborn specializes in a style of thrash that borders on mainstream metal. State of Disconnection isn't pop-metal -- no one will mistake it for the work of Bon Jovi or Warrant -- but it certainly isn't grindcore either. Although not earth-shattering and not overly distinctive, the CD is generally satisfying, and it indicates that Stillborn had potential.

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