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(55:47, Transubstans Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Kylan Kommer Inifran 5:09 2. Sista Morgonljuset 4:56 3. Smakar Sondag 3:14 4. NEJ 3:28 5. Langsamt 3:52 6. Vagskal 3:50 7. Enkel Resa 5:18 8. Med Ont Forsat 10:10 9. Oga for Oga 4:14 10. Forbjuden Frukt 4:30 11. Kommer Hem 7:06 LINEUP: Dennis Berg – bass; vocals Trisse – drums Peo Andersson – guitar Ulf Torkelsson – vocals With: Jonas Kullhammar – sax (3) Rolf Leidestad – piano (11) Moa Holmsten – vocals (4)
Prolusion. The Swedish band ABRAMIS BRAMA started out back in 1997 and was among the first of numerous representatives of the retro hard-rock movement that has surfaced in Sweden over the last decade or so. “Smakar Sondag” is their fifth studio effort and was issued in May 2009 by Transubstans Records.
Analysis. Unlike many of the other bands active on the Swedish retro scene, Abramis Brama has chosen to sing in its native language. The band members did issue an album with English vocals a few years back, but apparently the end result of that experiment didn't warrant repetition. Since that event took place they have issued a highly acclaimed studio effort in “Rubicon” (2005), released their first official live production with “Live!” (2007), and now return with their first studio effort in four years. And for those familiar with this outfit, it won't come as a surprise that what's dished out on this latest venture are tunes with more than a few nods in the direction of Black Sabbath: slow, heavy riffs, powerful vocals and a heavy bass underscoring the efforts. The songs are pretty much straightforward constructions without any major and only a select few minor challenging features, and those looking for an original take on the heavier part of ‘70s inspired hard rock won't get much satisfaction from this creation. On the other hand, the tracks are made as well as performed well, and on a few occasions we're served creations closing in fast on perfection as well. Strong, engaging tunes where the individual components match up perfectly. Med Ont Forsat is probably the best of these numbers, as well as being the creation most interesting to a progressively inclined audience. Featuring several distinct themes and numerous changes in pace, style and sound it is an intriguing and powerful venture. It does take its jolly good time to finish as well, clocking in at just over 10 minutes. A tad too long for many hard rock fans perhaps, but those who love progressive music should find that particular feature rather satisfying I suppose. Another number worth mentioning is the final effort Kommer Hem (Coming Home), where the piano adds in some nice jazzy tinges to the proceedings, in particular to the first half of this number. But this is a hard rock album first and foremost, and a well made one with a number of really good pieces at that.
Conclusion. Those who crave originality, challenging features and complex songs won't find many features of interest on this disc. But those who enjoy relatively simple, basic heavy rock similar to what Black Sabbath made in the early '70s should find plenty to enjoy on this effort, especially if they appreciate the vocalist singing in his native Swedish language.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: December 18, 2009
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