LESS THAN 4 – By Blood By Heart

LESS THAN 4 - By Blood By Heart
  • 6/10
    LESS THAN 4 - By Blood By Heart - 6/10


Black Lodge Records
Release date: August 31, 2012

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

Less Than 4 is a Hard Rock trio from Sweden. They were formed in 2007 by Max Landegren (guitar/vocals) and Stefan Westlund (bass). Drummer Ludwig Tornemalm joined the band a year later. Having won a couple of Swedish music competitions, they released an EP in 2009 titled Rock N Roll Dad. The album was received very well locally, and catapulted them to release their debut full-length album By Blood By Heart.

Less Than 4 gains much of their musical influence and imagery from Sleaze Rock bands like Guns N’ Roses, Hardcore Superstar, and Skid Row. They have a wild and free design about them with a gritty Punk-induced sound. The most impressive feat of Less Than 4 is they are all still teenagers. Each member is under the age of 20, and drummer Tornemalm is all of 15 years young. They are not exactly the stereotypical teen heart throb band, but it is quite impressive nonetheless to make such a formidable album at such a young age.

The chemistry of the music on By Blood By Heart is completely guitar riff driven. Each track revolves around a series of resolute riffs produced by Max Landegren. Although the compositions are generally basic and simple, the power and passion in which Landegren plays helps give many of the tracks an above average demeanor.

Another key item of By Blood By Heart is the very intense and aggressive vocals presented by Landegren. Clearly, he is not the most technically gifted vocalist as he sings with a very harsh and high-pitched wail. Landegren’s singing style is reminiscent of a young Axl Rose or even Kurt Cobain. That being said, the vocals actually blend well with the Punk-laden style of music. However, the shortages occur when Landegren attempts to sing a slower or soft melody. A good example is the final track on the album “Nothing Is Thicker”, which has an acoustic piano intro that features a horrific off-key vocal. Unfortunately, the scenario sets a very bad tone for the remainder of the song.

Less Than 4 does, however, make up for the lackluster portions with many tracks that have some very inspiring and creative riffs. A couple of good instances include “The Way We Are”, “Deadlocked”, and the title track “By Blood By Heart.” All could easily all be hit singles on any Rock chart.

Overall, By Blood By Heart has a few moments of greatness. The vocal styling of Landegren tends to be a major turn off, especially after repetitive listens. One can only take so much of the buzz saw like singing that goes slightly off key from time to time. However, the youthful talent is incredibly inspiring and to be commended … once they mature that talent is sure to be boundless.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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