We're just going to come out and say it: Niklas Holm, the mastermind behind ascendant Swedish hardcore outfit Broken Cross, is the most brutal anime nerd we've come across in awhile. A onetime member of the first manga club in Sweden, Holm developed dual, concurrent obsessions with anime and extreme metal and punk as a youngster. "Although they complement each other well, I always saw music and comics as separate interests," he says.
Fast forward 25 years. Thanks to his involvement with Broken Cross, as well as the death-metal band Extermination Temple, Holm's one of the most active members of the Swedish heavy-music underground, churning out grizzled, lo-fi hellfire on the regular. They've even caught the attention of Integrity frontman Dwid Hellion, who counts himself as a fan.
Following 2015's debut album Through Light to Night, Broken Cross are preparing to drop Militant Misanthrope: a punishing, doomsday-inspired suite sporting a heretofore unseen level of discipline, not to mention serious polish, thanks to the involvement of Toxic Holocaust main man — and esteemed engineer — Joel Grind. Hellion pitched in to Militant Misanthrope, too; he's behind its eye-catching artwork, inspired by werewolves and — wait for it — old-school anime.
However mired in apocalyptic anxiety, Holm says, the album is ultimately a reflection of his starry-eyed youth. "Although it comes from a dark place, I tried to write an album that would appeal to the kid in me. The apocalypse can be fun, too."
Militant Misanthrope is out February 2nd via Apocalyptic Visions. You can pre-order it here, and stream it below.