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(57:23, Transubstans Records)
The Swedish band SIDEBURN has been around in one form or another for a grand total of 16 years at the time of writing, with four full albums to its name so far. "IV Monument" is their most recent, and was released by Transubstans Records in the late summer of 2012. It is a production with quite a bit of variation to it, in style as well as quality, least convincing when exploring what I'd describe as a typical early 80's heavy metal style, with energetic circular riff patterns and powerful vocals, somewhat more interesting when they hone in on the hard rock of the 70's in general and acts like Rainbow and Led Zeppelin in particular. Some pieces are a tad frustrating, like final piece Monument, which kicks off with a massive dual motif that is one of the more compelling I've come across in years, and then fails to explore it as well as variations of this theme in the song that follow. But on opening piece Diamonds and the following Fire and Water Sideburn the musicians are at their best, the former a massive composition comparable to Candlemass in sound and expression, the latter a darker, slower and subtly twisted affair that brings the likes of Electric Wizard to mind. Later on The Last Day sort of combines the features of these opening cuts, and while not as intriguing as a whole is another track worth a special mention. "IV Monument" is an album that needs a listener with a varied taste in 70's hard rock and 80's metal to really enjoy all of the material at hand, but apart from that those fond of slower, doom-laden material should hit Spotify or otherwise sample the two opening cuts on this disc, two excellent excursions that should stir up quite a lot of interest.
Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 18, 2013
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