Before Gothenburg’s Graveyard had their own brand of beer in Sweden, or won a Swedish Grammy for Best Hard Rock album, or landed on three Billboard charts and multiple “Best of 2011” lists with their album ‘Hisingen Blues’, they caught the attention of Rolling Stone’s David Fricke at SXSW in 2008. Now into their third full album with Lights Out, fans of the band and those of us, like me, being introduced to them for the first time can understand why he was so excited by them. Graveyard are proof indeed that this part of the world isn’t just the sole domain of symphonic prog metal types.
A haunting air raid styled howl introduces the album to us with opener An Industry Of Murder that is atmospheric and moody throughout while packing a killer punch in the chorus. The track carries an underlying raw venom that builds towards its conclusion before you’re dropped very suddenly into the beautifully lilting and emotional Slow Motion Countdown. A brilliant switch in direction from the opener that gives Joakim Nilsson a great chance to show off his vocal prowess. His vocals are somewhat Gillan like and have a wonderful underlying rock growl that sits perfectly in unison with the music behind it.
Seven Seven allows them to get their rock out big style as it kicks on with a driving rhythm section and some great intricate drumming from Axel Sjöberg. It’s just a great old chunk of dirty, fuzzy, head thumping, fist pumping heavyness. The Suits, The Law & The Uniforms absolutely reeks of Deep Purple and brings to mind Smoke on the Water. It has a superb groove running through it and also reminds me of Monster Magnet too with the warm and fuzzy guitar tones following on from the previous track. This theme continues with Endless Night, and I can almost picture a montage of Smokey and the Bandit styled 70s car chases. A real funky groove runs through this again and it’s my standout track on the album with lots of little incidental pieces running throughout it.
The melancholic styling of Hard Times Lovin’ has a slow soulful anger about it that lingers wistfully even after it comes to an end while Goliath pulls us back into that great rocking rhythm Graveyard pulls together so easily that it’s no surprise this was released as the single off the album.
With Fool in the End and 20/20 (Tunnel Vision) rounding out the album perfectly in a similar style it’s a great piece of 70s era influenced rock that carries some wonderfully emotive moments and some goddamn great rocking tunes.
Lights Out is out now through Nuclear Blast.
1. An Industry Of Murder
2. Slow Motion Countdown
3. Seven Seven
4. The Suits, The Law & The Uniforms
5. Endless Night
6. Hard Times Lovin’
8. Fool In The End
9. 20/20 (Tunnel Vision)
LIGHTS OUT are:
Joakim Nilsson – Guitar & Vocals
Jonathan Ramm – Guitar
Rikard Edlund – Bass
Axel Sjöberg – Drums