Stockholm's Holograms have never been the kind of band to shy away from making a seriously strong statement. Their self-titled debut, released in 2012, was an album that exploded with the healthy dynamism of youth, a vigour that, on the outside, portrayed a band who knew how they wanted to be perceived, but had an underlying unease, a lack of confidence, not so much in themselves, but in their future. With their second album, Forever, the band have attempted to raze these fears to blackened ash, and fashion them into solid structure, stoically staring into the future with fearless zeal.

The fractured, ear-splitting synths from their debut have been plumped up and widened, allowing the band a larger foundation on which to create a behemoth. Where the band were once lean and wiry, their sound is now more muscular, seemingly moving from Bantamweight to Middleweight. By extending their sound and making themselves appear larger, Holograms seem to making a discernible attempt to get themselves noticed. The choruses are beefier, the melodies are more apparent, the sound no longer pierces like a needle, but cuts like a cleaver.

Echoing the darkened power of fellow Scandi-punks Iceage, the guitars are wrought with vociferous energy, and whilst the rhythm section remains unflashy, the vocals are delivered with a boisterous holler. Sometimes, the vocals are slightly too rowdy for their own good, treading the line between confrontational punk attitude and drunken football supporter bellowing in the stands, such as in the monotonous mantra of "I'm so tired" in 'Attestupa'.

This attempt at producing a larger sound has unfortunately meant that some of the nervous tension of their earlier material has been sacrificed for a more cocksure stance. This growing in confidence is admirable, but something has certainly been left out of this record and that essential ingredient for this much-trodden genre is humility. Sure, punks need to be brash and muscular, but we also want to see their battle scars, the blackened eyes, the blood still running down their forehead. Like a true prize boxer, Holograms end the fight even prettier than when they began; pumped up on testosterone, unscathed and beaming victoriously.

Forever is a mighty icebreaker; for all its lack of subtlety and flexibility, this is a mighty and robust machine, practical and one-dimensional. Those who it seeks to annihilate, are vanquished with impressive ease. An imposing beast within it's own setting, Forever is impossible to ignore from close up, however, those who rarely venture into this territory will be less impressed with this cumbersome monster.