I grew up listening to bands like Black Sabbath and AC/DC until I discovered thrash metal and later on started listening to punk rock. But no matter what, I always remained a Sabbath fan. The funny thing about that is, there were so many other bands in the same style of Sabbath and I never heard of any of them until I picked up this album last week. Now I've discovered a whole new musical world out there. I know, how naive of me to think that Black Sabbath were the only ones, but hey, when your young you think you know everything about what you like, which was clearly not the case with me...
Anyhow, lets get to Kadavar; recently signed to Nuclear Blast Records, this is their second full length album and was actually recorded in their drummer, Tiger's, home studio. I understand they did a technique used by another of their often heard influences, Blue Cheer, and recorded the guitar tracks on one side with the bass tracks on the other channel, all the while keeping the drums and vocals on both channels. What ever they did, it really worked! Not only is the music top quality, but the production of the album came out clean and crisp.
“Abra Kadavar” is a definite throw back to the rock bands of the of the 60's and 70's. A heavy Black Sabbath and Jefferson Airplane influence can be heard on all of the tracks on "Abra Kadavar", as well as other bands, like Blue Cheer and Pentagram.
The album itself starts with a very strong with catchy song called “Come Back Life”. The songs mid tempo bass lines and simple guitar and drum work do amazing things for this song. Towards the middle there's a very Door's sounding break down then right back into the grooving and upbeat style that Kadavar has seemed to master.
The vocals are great on this recording. Lupus Lindemann's voice is a perfect fit for the melodic chorus of guitar, bass and drums. His wide range both compliments and helps define the musical style that Kadavar are going for here, which I'm assuming to be a retro rock band, but oozing with their own style and musical creativity.
While some could and will say that they are just another Sabbath rip off band, I beg to differ, the music is fresh and keeps you “grooving”to the beat. And compared to a lot of the other Doom/Stoner bands out there, this sounds way different.
The second song, “Doomsday Machine”, which seems to be the bands single, is a bit faster and heavier. Again, there is great, driving guitar riff accented by the drums and bass with the overlapping of Lupus' vocals bringing it all together. There is also a more distorted guitar sound to this song, again, with a very Black Sabbath feel, while maintaining their own sound all the way.
The only song that I really had a hard time with was “Black Snake”. Even so, the song itself isn't bad, but the intro has a rather long wah-wah/vocals duel that, in my personal opinion could have been left out of the song. The song itself is great, with single note guitar chords, the same heavy thumping bass and drum combo and of course the killer 60's sounding vocal style.
On the song “Liquid Dream”, an organ is introduced among and we're eventually treated to a pretty heavy (?) organ solo... Yeah, you read that right, an organ solo. Again, pretty impressive, if I do say.
In the song “Rythm For Endless Minds” the listener is transported back in time. The song starts with some laser gun sounds followed by a quick acoustic guitar riff, then we fall into the tripping zone, complete with funky sounds of musical wind and other far out noises. It does pick up some heaviness about a minute into the song, but this time the clean outstanding vocals are echoed, as is much of the music. It still kicks ass though, but I guess it could also seem a bit out of place compared to the other songs on this release, but it does mix well.
Finally the title track, “Abra Kadabra” ties it all together and sends us packing with more of the trippy sounds from, I'm guessing to be the organ, but also showcasing the drums and bass player with small break downs for each of them to shine for a brief moment. The final track is also a instrumental piece and rounds the album out very nice... Over all, this is a great record and I cant wait to hear more from this band and this genre of music.
Kadavar not only plays the part, but they look it also. The way they dress, their video's have that old grainy feel, long hair and long beards, as some would say “the Total Package”. And the songs just keep coming at you, like a vintage hot rod being driven by time traveling rockers.
With so many bands doing the whole “Retro Rocker” thing now, it's good to hear something of this caliber. This has definitely opened my ears up to other types of music that isn't just Punk Rock and Death Metal, in a sense, it's very refreshing to hear this type of music being rehashed and making a come back.
This is one of the few albums that I would place in my top five of the year.