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Lights Out [Digipak] *
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Performer Notes
  • Audio Mixer: Don Alsterberg.
  • Recording information: Don Pierre Studios, Gotheburg, Sweden (05/2012-08/2012).
  • Photographer: Anders Bergstedt.
  • Arranger: Graveyard .
  • After emerging on the scene as talented but copycat retro-metallers on their eponymous 2007 debut (inspired primarily by compatriots Witchcraft), Sweden's Graveyard appeared to find their calling as born-again bluesmen on their 2011 sophomore album, Hisingen Blues, swapping Pentagram for Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac as idols to aspire to, arguably to the bettering of their career prospects. This theory gains credence with the comparatively speedy gestation and late-2012 delivery of the quartet's third long-player, Lights Out, which shows a Graveyard committed to simultaneously refining recent efforts and taking a few new chances with their sound. To wit: urgent, quasi-metallic offerings such as "An Industry of Murder," "Seven Seven," and the simple but irresistible "Endless Night" rub friendly shoulders with groovier efforts like "Fool in the End," "The Suits, the Law & the Uniforms" (bonus points for its skronking Stooges/"1970" sax), and the wonderfully laid-back "20/20 (Tunnel Vision)." Meantime, "Goliath" roars into view fueled by Steppenwolf's "I like smokin' lightning" swagger all the way, and you can thank Led Zeppelin's incomparable genre-straddling ways for influencing both the exquisite minor-key slow blues of "Hard Times Lovin'" (think "Since I've Been Lovin' You") and the lush, orchestral strings and Mellotron-laced "Slow Motion Countdown" ("No Quarter"). Just as importantly, all of the above are aided and abetted by Joakim Nilsson's ever-improving vocals, which previously felt equally insecure and histrionic somehow, when they weren't dragged down by painfully immature lyrics. Needless to say, Nilsson's development is crucial if the boys in Graveyard are to mature into the roles of dyed-in-the-wool bluesmen that they seemingly aspire to in years to come, but, for the moment, Lights Out suggests they are capable of producing compelling work even as they become increasingly comfortable in their own skin. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia
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