Formed in Sweden in 2009 The Graviators are on a mission to bring back the sound of 70’s heavy metal. With heavy yet melodic riffs, they immediately caught the ear of local record label Transubstans who helped them release their self titled debut in the same year. The band began extensive touring, including a 2010 tour with American doom legends Saint Vitus taking them to eight different countries across Europe. At the end of 2011 the band signed with Napalm Records giving them worldwide distribution of this their second major release.
As soon as you have digested the opening bars of opening track Soul Stealer, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had been taken back in time to the midlands area of England in the 1970’s. It really sets the tone for the album, none of the songs are especially fast, but they are still as heavy as sin. Soul Stealer is a classically eerie doom track with chugging bass line and pulsating drums providing the back drop for the guitars (which are almost psycadelic in places) and sinister synths. Your left thinking this album is going to be like a fist fight between Black Sabbath and Arthur Brown.
So as I listened and discovered that this album also has some bloody great solos I was really beginning to enjoy it. Martin Fairbanks (possibly the least Swedish sounding name ever!!) has written some simply amazing solos for the record. Title track Evil Deeds’ stomping bass and drums, grinding riff and soaring solo had me wanting to break out the black lights, whilst Morning Star bursts out the gates, sounding like Children of The Grave on speed.
However not all is well here. After two or three tracks you do begin to wonder if this is actually an album of Black Sabbath rarities and b-sides. Being influenced by early Sabbath and sounding exactly like them are two very different things and it becomes quite off putting the further into the record you go. The repetitive nature of some of the songs meant I found myself drifting from the album very easily.
I plough on though and am rewarded in the form of the eight minute psycadelic/metal/doom monster that is Presence. It is an absolutely amazing song. If it were possible to bottle 1970’s rock and metal and pour it all into one song this would be the result, from the Sabbath-esque bass line and Deep Purple guitar work, to the Hawkwind style synths.
By the time we reach the end of the album The Graviators seem to have found their own sound a bit more and as a result the songs seem to have more punch to them. Forlorn is quite an upbeat song that still manages to capture a lot of that classic doom sound and closing track The Infidel has a slow grinding opening riff that you can’t help but nod along to especially when combined with those pounding drums.
The Graviators are not bad at what they do by any stretch of the imagination, nor is Evil Deeds by any means a bad album it’s more of a disappointment in my opinion, having seen what the band can be capable of in places.
There is nothing overly complicated about the album it is a straight up doom album with flashes of those psychedelic influences, but the repetitive nature of it does let it down and as a result I shall be awarding Evil Deed by the Graviators 6/10.
Evil Deeds is available worldwide through Napalm Records on 31st August.
See www.napalmrecords.com for more information.
- Soul Stealer
- Evil Deeds
- Morning Star
- The Great Deception
- Feelin’ Low
- A Different Moon
- The Infidel
The Graviators are:
Niklas Sjöberg – Vocals
Martin Fairbanks – Guitar
Johan Holm – Bass
Henrick Bergman – Drums