Stockholm, Sweden has always been home to an amazing array of bands over the years and standing out in the crowd there has become increasingly hard. Sideburn is one of those standouts, and has been since Morgan Zocek helped form the band in 1997. The style they play brings you back to that old school classic rock sound with some blues and a pinch of doom. The new album “Evil or Divine” does not disappoint. Released May 22, 2015 it has become a favorite of ours and often does not leave the playlist or cd player. The opening track “Masters and Slaves” starts out the album with some amazing retro guitar work and eases you into the vocal style of singer and guitarist Dimitri Keiski. . Guitar solos by founding member Morgan Zocek seem like they are never going to end. The guitars are just the beginning of the unblemished musical perfection that they bring to this album. The next track is where Dimitri really brings out his full potential and range in “Sea of Sins” hits both highs and lows and takes the listener on this musical journey. The crashing of the cymbals and beat of the drums by Fredrik Haake clears a path for everything else to chime in. Musically Sideburn has an amazing progressive style with various hints of other genres, and when you add the vocals it just brings in that retro feel that fits perfectly like an old pair of pants. With a song title like “The Day the Sun Died” you know that it will summon the darkness and doom that lives inside a black heart. Things are slowed down and everything hangs on each note. The deep tone of the bass riffs by Martin Karlsson bellow out and help steer the song in the right direction. The chorus comes through like a flawless symphony of sounds, and lurks around from the ear to the tip of your tongue and has you singing along. The album is the soundtrack to the journey it takes you through while listening. The sound Sideburn has is not watered down, and needs to be consumed by all.
Photo taken by Jonte Strömberg
Edited by Morgan Zocek
Art, food, wine, the Eiffel Tower and maybe a few other things are what commonly come to mind when thinking of Paris, France. Abrahma is one of the great products of France and should be added to that list as well. The impeccable music they create will not escape you. Flawless and well orchestrated throughout, it’s like a maze made perfectly for the ear. From the city of love is where they reside, however the darkness truly comes out with their retro doom sounding music. They have released one of the best through and through albums I have heard this year in “Reflections In the Bowels of a Bird”. Released in May the album starts with “Fountains of Vengeance” and has that fuzzy wah wah sound that in a way sets the tone for the entire album. The intensity changes several times really keeping you on your toes. By the time the second song comes on you are really ready for anything. “An Offspring To The Wolves” has that amazing doom sound. This is the first single on the album in which they have also released a video as well. Not only is this album amazing in sound but the album art is also vibrant and is likely to stand out on any record store shelf. The vocal style changes somewhat throughout the album, not drastically but just enough to make every song sound refreshing. At times vocalist Seb Bismuth sounds like an early era Brandon Boyd from Incubus. Track 3 “Omens Pt. 1” starts a 3 part series of songs on the album. Some of the guitar work really casts out a Sabbath like sound. The music seems just perfectly melded together and then the vocals are the final touch to it. It’s so well orchestrated that each chord seems perfectly timed. The song winds down to such a somber drawn out ending that leads greatly into the next song. “Weary Statues” starts out with some drone like sounds and then gets into the drum beat at which point it’s off to the races. This song sets a fast pace and is my favorite track on the album. It has a mean chug along guitar and vocal sound that lead into this surprising melodic portion of the song and then right back to up tempo. I won’t give the rest of the album away but it is the type of album that will stand the test of time. It is 52 minutes of 70’s inspired bluesy doom rock that will keep you listening til the last second.