Way back in 2002, acts from the chilly countries of Scandinavia were hot, hot, hot in the States, and the (International) Noise Conspiracy seemed poised to capitalize. The Swedish five-piece, led by Lars Strmberg and Dennis Lyxzén, beat many of its competitors to U.S. stores with strong releases such as the 2000 full-length Survival Sickness and the eclectic, overtly political EP Bigger Cages, Longer Chains, released in 2003 on the Burning Heart imprint as part of a distribution deal with Epitaph. Shortly thereafter, big-deal producer Rick Rubin embraced the group, personally overseeing Armed Love, a new disc that gave the Noise-makers a legitimate shot at the mainstream via his label, American Recordings. Problem was, American's move from Island Def Jam's corporate portfolio to the Warner Bros. family delayed Love's domestic release for over a year. According to the band's website, www.blackmask.nu, the CD may be out by summer. But since there's no guarantee, the group is touring with And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead to remind listeners that they didn't disappear when the Scandinavian trend cooled. That's fact, not a Conspiracy theory.
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