Demon Hunter are back. The Metal legends from Seattle are back with a huge release. These days, bands tend to put out EPs rather than albums. The Demon gang had a different idea, releasing two albums on the same day, harking back to ‘Use Your Illusion’. Therefore, 1st March sees ‘War’ and ‘Peace’ come out.
The genius marketing here is that each album is different in its approach. ‘War’ sees the band go hard with more of a metalcore vibe, whilst ‘Peace’ walks a more melodic Metal path. Either way, both album is pretty damn impressive!
From the ashes of Swedish Doom / Stoner band NORRSKEN rose two new bands. Whilst some of the band formed WITCHCRAFT, the rest formed the classic retro-modern GRAVEYARD. They strode into the spotlight with a steely stare and a sense of purpose.
After forming, the band were swift to record a two track demo and played a total of three shows, before planning for a full-length album. Their self-titled debut album was recorded by Don Ahlsterberg and released in early 2008. On the recording sessions’ completion, Truls Mörck was replaced by guitarist Jonatan Ramm.
GRAVEYARD then toured with label mates WITCH. In the fall of 2008, they also toured with CLUTCH. In 2009, they toured with the rock band CKY and released their second album in spring of 2011. Touring followed, with the likes of SOUNDGARDEN. However, bass player and co-founder Rikard Edlund then left the band to “pursue other musical ventures“. In September 2015, the band released the ‘Innocence & Decadence’ record through Nuclear Blast.
On 23 September 2016, the band announced they had broken up, citing, “all so classic reasons.” This hiatus lasted only until 2017, when the band announced their reunion, albeit with a new drummer as Axel Sjöberg decided to stay with his new band.
The album ‘Peace’ is the reunion tentpole. It was produced by Chips Kiesbye and is released via Nuclear Blast. It combined elements of Stoner/Doom, but with many more references to 60’s and 70’s artists. The warm, yet somewhat retro production, gives it a sound that is very welcome in the cold age of digital perfection.
The songs shift around your consciousness and I have generally been impressed by the thoughtfulness of songs such as “Walk On” and “Del Manic”. The sound is propelled by guitarist/vocalist Joakim Nilsson’s fantastically rich vocals and the jazzy content on some songs makes this record a genuine treat to fall into. Like a feather coated beartrap – you initially feel comfortable until the teeth chomp on your leg.
There is a feeling of a band genuinely understanding the pulls of the musical universe and who are acutely aware of their place in the patheon of chaos. They seem to be stretching out on an aural adventure in an effort to put distance between them and their somewhat tumultous past. However, it is a solid album with great tunes such as “A Sign Of Peace” and the opener “It Ain’t Over Yet”.
If your bag is thoughtful, grooving Stoner rock with a warm retro feel, then GRAVEYARD is a band for you to check out.