Graveyard - Lights Out (CD) Cover Art

Graveyard - Lights Out (CD)

  • $6.66

Origin: USA
Released: 2012
Catalog number: 2963-2
Behind a cover that looks like a pessimist’s take on Uriah Heep’s classic Look at Yourself cover, Lights Out finds Graveyard picking up more or less where they left off with Hisingen Blues. Graveyard still worships at the altar of the almighty riff, and they still sound like refugees from 1970. Across three albums now the band has channeled the vintage sound of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and to a lesser extent Cream and Atomic Rooster. Lights Out feels darker overall though, and not just the cover artwork. The lyrics seem more cynical, the riffs are heavier and the overall tone tilts more towards Sabbath than Zeppelin this time around. The album swings from up-tempo rockers like “Seven Seven” and “Goliath” to slower, more somber numbers like “Slow Motion Countdown” and “Hard Times Lovin’” with ease, maintaining the same spooky, fuzzed-out vibe throughout.

Joakim Nilsson’s unique vocals continue to be a highlight of Graveyard’s sound, as do his and Jonatan La Rocca Ramm’s guitar work. Paired with the steady rhythms of Axel Sjoberg and Rikard Edlund, and some well placed guest musicians on Hammond, piano, mellotron, saxophone and Norwegian fiddle and the whole thing comes together brilliantly. Oddly enough (given the two bands’ shared roots), Graveyard finds itself competing with Witchcraft for the year’s best retro rock/metal release, and while Lights Out is a totally satisfying album all-around, it probably doesn’t have quite the same impact as Witchcraft’s Legend. It’s a hell of an album though; make no mistake about that, and one that fans of the heavy rock-stoner-metal revival will not want to miss. And if any album released this year was meant to be heard on vinyl, it’s Lights Out.

The influence of modern stoner/sludge bands lurk heavy here on Lights Out more than ever with the guitars wound back to create a flabbier, moodier and weightier dynamic. For “The Suits, The Law & The Uniforms”, for instance, the chugging strings get so fat that they end up slurping and burping their way across the surface of the track. The fairly formidable, menacing vibe that is created by them allows the frontman room to really shine and he doesn’t let the side down, indignantly howling out his barbed lyrics. Lights Out‘s running order creates yet another Graveyard roller-coaster ride with the rockers fairly whizzing down the steep slopes of “An Industry Of Murder”, “Goliath” and “Seven Seven” and plodding laboriously back up through the drowsy blues of “Slow Motion Countdown” and “Hard Times Lovin’”. Before you even reach the velvet flow and dual vocal dynamite of closer “20/20 (Tunnel Vision”), you’ll already be aware that Graveyard have concocted something truly special.