It’s been a strange couple of years for Graveyard. That’s the only way to describe it. After releasing their best album up to that point, Innocence and Decadence, and a summer spent in the lap of festivals, the band split up. Then, a mere four months later, they got back together with a new drummer.
Since then, they’ve put together a new album. Whilst that brief time apart is now forever a part of their story, Peace is needed to wipe the slate clean. Fuzzy, psychedelic, doomy and classic individually and, at points, together. Essentially, it’s more Graveyard. Ignoring the bands with similar sounds and tinkering with their own format, it may not be their finest hour but what we’ve got is a still a great album which can stand with its predecessors.
Opener “It Ain’t Over Yet” is brimming with swagger and venom – a statement of intent and a song like that should only ever be at the front of an album. It’s the band testifying they have more to give the world and here’s the proof. Indeed, it’s one of the highlights of the album. It’s hard edge it repeated with “The Fox” later in the album as a short, sharp burst of noise, full of wailing guitars and channelling all the greats of the 70s.
Elsewhere, the band go back to their more experimental side with the trippy “Walk On” and album closer “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)”. The latter shows the band in full-flow creatively and there’s a sense of them just experimenting to see what comes of it. Full of peaks and valleys, there’s a prog-like feel to it. Meanwhile, “Please Don’t” sees Graveyard embracing their inner Mastodon and could have easily featured on Empire of Sand.
Joakim Nilsson and Jonatan La Rocca Ramm’s guitar work bounces off each other incredibly well, creating the perfect retro vibe throughout. Fuzzy and distorted, their riffs sound gargantuan and with the looser and live production on offer here, it’s a perfect palate cleanser when everything nowadays is about pristine sound. Truls Mörck’s bass lines work fluidly with newcomer Oskar Bergenheim’s drums. Not overpowering in the mix and not trying to be overly fanciful, he’s restrained as the music focuses more on the guitars. Similarly, Nilsson’s sandpaper vocals rasp throughout and with their imperfect yet impassioned delivery, it adds a layer of punk ethos to the music.
Whilst the production is perfect for an album like this and it’s similarly a perfect length, the looser vibe brings the progression they’ve made to a grinding halt. Regardless, it’s a great album and more Graveyard is always a boon. It may not be as monstrous as the two preceding albums but it’s a lesson for many bands on how to create a classic rock record.
Peace is out now