Release Date: April 19, 2011 (US)
Hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, Graveyard unearths their sophomore effort, Hisingen Blues; their first on Nuclear Blast. Quite honestly I’d never heard the band’s 2007 debut, so based on the band’s name I expected death metal to come pouring out of my speakers. What I did not expect, but was pleasantly shocked to hear, was a sonic journey back to my childhood roots.
Graveyard‘s sound is pure old school stoner rock/metal. While there are other elements at play here, the crux of their sound might be described as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix meets Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer and Cream. Even the band’s analog recording and use of old school production techniques lends a very authentic feel to what is a modern recording.
Hinsingen Blues mixes together all the elements we older rockers grew up on. That groovy, psychedelic stoner feel, with a touch of doom and blues, and an appropriate amount of crustiness. This is an album full of tunes that make you long for the days of bell bottoms, weed, blacklights, and antiestablishmentarianism. Never thought I’d use that word in an album review, but there it is.
Part of the Zep/Hendrix vibe comes from vocalist/guitarist Joakim Nilsson, who seems to channel elements of both, but still maintains his own unique sound. You can hear both on the album opener, “Ain’t Fit to Live Here”.
“No Good, Mr. Holden” kicks off with an eerie back-masked intro before launching into a Sabbathesque rocker.
We get off to a beautiful bluesy glide on “Uncomfortably Numb”, and end with an intriguing guitar duel between Nilsson and Jonatan Ramm reminiscent of classic Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The instrumental, “Longing” offers us a psychedelic soundtrack for a spaghetti western.
“RSS” is a bluesy, booging, finger-snapping romp, while the album’s final track, “Siren” is a moody contemplative nightmare come to life. A tale of the demon temptations that call to us all in some disturbing way. Drummer Axel Sjöberg really shines on this number.
What truly sets Graveyard and Hinsingen Blues apart from its contemporaries is its honesty and lack of boundaries. These guys open the floodgates and let it all pour out, and it’s a refreshing 70’s retrofit. If you long for the music that began the metal movement, grab this album and hear a modern interpretation of the beginning.