Kamchatka are a blues rock power trio from Sweden. Their sound combines stoner, blues and psychedelic rock. In 2005 they released their self-titled début Volume I followed in 2007 by Volume II and in 2009 by Volume III. Bury Your Roots is from 2011, while the 2014 record The Search Goes On released for Despotz Records, who are now also releasing their latest effort Long Road Made Of Gold. The album was mixed and mastered by Russ Russell (Dimmu Borgir and Napalm Death). The artwork for the album was made once more by Hippograffix, a freelance graphic design company started by Per Wiberg.
Kamchatka band founders Thomas Juneor Andersson (guitar/vocals) and Tobias Strandvik (drums) are now joined by Per Wiberg (bass/keyboards/vocals) of Opeth and Spiritual Beggars fame who has been in the band since 2013 and for the past two albums. The band name comes from the Siberian peninsula Kamchatka and as stated from the band:
” We were simply looking for a place that could represent what we sound like. Almost instantly the Siberian peninsula Kamchatka came to mind, a weird, fantasy-like piece of nature with volcanoes, sulphur lakes, boiling mud pools, green hills with waterfalls and so on…”
…well…certainly more poetic and substantial then the originally chosen Shrimpmoney, don’t you think? ;)
Long Road Made of Gold is their sixth studio album, available from the 8th of June in UK. It is a beautiful, soulful, rock and blues album that will surprise and entice you. I must admit I discovered the band only recently, when the possibility to review and interview them came up (the latter should be organized next week and will be uploaded here soon after). What a blast! Kamchatka I am your newest fan.
Let’s waste no more time and onto the album track list itself. “Take me back home” opens with a speeding banjo solo that dug up my most treasured memories of Motorpsycho and Iron Maiden. It is an alien sounding hybrid of blues, rock and everything in between. Thomas “Juneor” Andersson on guitar and vocals delivers throughout this release a soulful and heartfelt performance. I guess this is what makes this band so appealing to me, each member brings much of their own influences to a cauldron of uniquely conceived musicality. You scored. “Get your game on” follows with a catchy drum and bass beat and riffs that crossover into genres like blues, stoner and rock, and peppered by a distinctive psychedelic vibe. “Made of Gold” is a bit funkier and bluesy at the start but goes into blues overdrive as it progresses. The drumming by Tobias Strandvik here is excellent and as the song comes to an end “Human dynamo” roll in and stand out. I am suddenly flash-backing to my teenage years fuelled by the Ramones and roaring psychedelic keyboard solos by the likes of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep just to mention a few. Per Wiberg is a really good addition to the band, playing some heavier lines with a doomier (is this even a word?) bass groove. Listening to their back catalogue I hear a rockier undertone that I can certainly relate to. “Rain” comes in as a strong, slower, bluesy number. I am sinking deep and I don’t wanna get up. Next up are “What’s to blame”, “Mirror”, “Slowly drifting away” and “Long Road”. “To You” closes Long Road Made of Gold and surprises me once more and leaves me hanging there a bit, at least until I hit the rewind button. This album really is an eclectic melting pot of rock fuelled riffs but a very interesting one. This is celebration music; it does not have any of the melancholy of blues but all its heart and roughness of good “auld” Southern rock, “Long Road” being an example.
I am honestly dying to see them live and I really hope they get booked for a proper tour, all over the UK and Scotland. Despite Kamchatka reminding me of many other musical ventures, I don’t feel they are pretending to cash in on those sounds. They are a unique power trio and deliver an album that, although rooted in the past (which isn’t surprising considering their age range and musical backgrounds) definitely stands out proudly on today’s rock scene. Their music is captivating and moving. I would like to encourage you to give them a spin. I am digging out their back catalogue. I found something good and I want more!
Available now at Despotz Records.
1. Take Me Back Home
2. Get Your Game On
3. Made Of Gold
4. Human Dynamo
6. Who´s To Blame
8. Slowly Drifting Away
9. Long Road