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(39:33 / Transubstans Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Evil Ways 3:27 2. Thin Line 5:24 3. Lost in Confusion 3:23 4. Don't Take Us for Fools 4:01 5. Blue Soul 6:16 6. Submarine Blues 2:24 7. As the Years Pass By, The Hours Bend 4:40 8. Right Is Wrong 4:26 9. Satan's Finest 5:32 LINEUP: Joakim Nilsson - vocals; guitar Jonathan Ramm - guitar; vocals Rikard Edlund - bass Axel Sjoberg - drums
Prolusion. Formed in November 2006, Swedish band GRAVEYARD have had a rapid development since then. Less than a year after they started out their self-titled debut album has been released on Record Heaven / Transubstans Records in Europe, and by the Tee Pee label in the USA.
Analysis. Graveyard have a musical foundation that seems to become ever more popular these days, namely early 70's hard rock. Many acts exploring the music from this era have Black Sabbath as a major source of inspiration, most often mixed with influences from other bands of the same time period. In this case I'm of the opinion that Led Zeppelin and Robin Trower may have been nearly as influential as Black Sabbath, and bands like Cream and Blue Cheer have been named as probable inspirations from other parties. All the said influences are mixed in slightly different ways on this release. Opening track Evil Ways, with its staccato guitar riffs and melodic guitar overlays, sounds like a mix of early Black Sabbath and UFO. On the next four tracks, psychedelic hard rock is the foundation, with elements from the band's main influence audible to a greater or lesser extent. Submarine Blues is a brief visit to the realm of Black Sabbath, whereas As the Years Pass By, The Hours Bend and Right Is Wrong are all more purified psychedelic hard rock tunes. Satan's Finest incorporates the influences heard on previous songs, concluding this album in a very fitting manner. Although notable influences are more or less easily identified throughout, Graveyard manage to create a distinct sound and atmosphere throughout, without doubt enhanced by the classy production. The songs are well made too, and although the first couple of tracks come across as average outings, the rest of the album is generally good, with As the Years Pass By, The Hours Bend and Right Is Wrong being my personal favorites. There's nothing original offered here though; it is an album of well-made tunes, excellently performed in well-known and well-explored musical territories.
Conclusion. If hard rock from the first half of the 70's is your thing, this is a release worth checking out. Fans of Black Sabbath should find much of interest, as well as fans of psychedelic hard rock.
OMB=Olav M Bjornson: January 13, 2008
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