Photographers: Anders Bergstedt; Sophia Sol Sejby; Erik Sj?berg Ridderstr?m.
The second album by Swedish retro blues-rock band Graveyard finds them moving from the stoner rock-identified Tee Pee label to the more traditionally metallic Nuclear Blast. They haven't changed their sound one bit, though; they still sound like a lost band from 1971, somewhere between the U.K.-based Groundhogs and their fellow Swedes in November. The easiest modern comparison would be to Witchcraft, but Witchcraft's more occult lyrical focus, and influence from heavier acts like Pentagram, sets them apart from Graveyard's bare-bones boogie, which falls closer to Horisont. The title track of this album finds Graveyard at their most rip-roaring, offering a thunderous riff and some stinging guitar soloing. Other tracks throw little stylistic tweaks (background vocals on "Buying Truth [Tack & F?rl?t]") into the mix, but the basic formula stays the same. "Longing" is the token ballad, an instrumental with some whistling and subtle organ giving it an Ennio Morricone-ish desolation. The album ends with the one-two punch of the hard-rocking "RSS" and the atmospheric, shifting (it starts soft and gets very loud), six-minute "The Siren," an excellent showcase for the band's skilled rhythm section. Graveyard should be heard by any fan of retro hard rock. ~ Phil Freeman