Released by: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Hard Rock
Joakim Nilsson – vocals, guitar
Jonatan Ramm – guitars
Truls Morck – bass
Oskr Bergenheim – drums
1. It Ain’t Over Yet
2. Cold Love
3. See the Day
4. Please Don’t
5. The Fox
6. Walk On
7. Del Manic
8. Bird of Paradise
9. A Sign of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)
The latest 10 track offering from Sweden’s GRAVEYARD titled Peace has arrived which takes fans back to the traditional Swedish heavy blues-rock sound that GRAVEYARD has been known for in the early days. This latest offering is full of hooks and heavy riffs that both old and new fans of the band will enjoy. This is the band’s fifth studio album after a brief split, they have returned stronger than ever with new drummer Oskar Bergenheim.
Upon the band’s formation in 2006 in Gothenburg, Sweden – GRAVEYARD released their first studio album in 2007 which was self-titled Graveyard – A widely praised release in the underground among vintage stoner rock and doom fans. Releasing three further albums Hisingen Blues (2011) and Lights Out (2012) and Innocence and Decadence (2015) – The band grew and developed their sound within each era of experimentation and technique. Fans of the band experienced the new boundaries which were broken and followed the journey of the music into deeper and darker paths where blues, soul, and heavy rock infused together. GRAVEYARD has been no stranger to change their sound on each record by adding clean sections, piano, mellotron and up-tempo while still remaining true to their roots and the sound which they created back in the years leading up to their 2007 release.
After giving Peace a first listen our HiFi speakers reminisced bands such as Sir Lord Baltimore and Led Zeppelin and the combination of a different atmosphere in the band brought forth by the new drummer Oskar. The hypnotic catchy drum patterns, hypnotizing minor guitar scales and vocals from the graveyard were everything we expected and more.
The opening track “It Ain’t Over Yet” opens the album will a start to the point, no bullshit approach and the song title says it all. The band’s sound has distorted rhythm guitar with drums pounding, a great speed limit breaking song for playing the cassette loud in the car. The song is very well put together with backing organs and the chorus, “It ain’t over yet, you got a lot to lose”. The song is a powerful opener at first listen and the guitar solos are just as good as before. What stands out with each GRAVEYARD release is that it sounds like it was made in the 70’s and not overly polished like many of the bands today, in terms of it sound like a live garage jam from the band. The raw tone of Joakim’s vocals is back with a more stripped down and simplified classic approach.
Talking about the album producer Chips Kiesbye says “I wanted to capture the power and energy of the band that I’ve witnessed at their live shows. So we recorded the album the way that all the old classics were made; with no click tracks, triggered drums, autotune or “studio trickery”. The plan was to keep it simple and pure, with just the band and their music. Everything we added to a song had to be there for a reason and not just because we had empty tracks.”
After the previous album Innocence and Decadence (2015) was released, old fans of the band were confused as to where GRAVEYARD was going with the sound as it was a very soft album. The songs weren’t as heavy, doomed and dark as before but the album still provided more balance for the live setting. With an album title like Peace, fans could have predicted the same scenario but this is not the case and we were pleased to hear the return of the raw GRAVEYARD we heard before.
The second track on the album titled Cold Love is pure Sir Lord Baltimore worship with the blues-driven fuzzy guitar tone and experimental style of the song. The track doesn’t disappoint and a possible favorite from the album.
Notable stand out tracks on the album include The Fox, the second single which the band released via their Facebook page and YouTube before the album was launched. Walk On in particular showcases the bands more progressive and experimental approach which unveils hard-hitting drumming from new recruit Oskar, Joakim’s mixed clean and gritty vocals, Jonatan and Trul’s diverse guitar ability. Around the halfway mark through this track, we hear what sounds like a live jam from the band as they experiment with different guitar effects sounds and the drums and bass provide the backdrop for a Deep Purple-esque track would go down great live.
GRAVEYARD will return to the stage supporting Peace on June 17th at Download Festival, France.
GRAVEYARD Peace is OUT NOW through Nuclear Blast Records. We think that all old and new fans will enjoy picking up this album and attending the bands upcoming shows.
Written by: David Bell