Album: Rough Times
Release Date: 29th September, 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
Review by El
When looking at German rock bands, the mind automatically goes to the likes of Accept, The Scorpions and Helloween as examples of the classic style, without going into the heavier end of the Rammstein, Kreator and Destruction bands. Looking up the band, there is mention of the use of the “hard panning” production technique, meaning the studio album should have a more”live” kind of feel. With this in mind, it was time to give the fourth Kadavar offering, ‘Rough Times’ a spin.
Immediately, you are hit by a sonic blast of fuzz that comes with the opener, the title track, ‘Rough Times’. Sounding like the doom end of Black Sabbath, Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann’s vocals come through the chaos, adding in something a little different from your usual expectations of Germanic rock.
Whilst maintaining a very Seventies psychedelic/proto-metal feel right through the album, it almost feels like the album is split into three.
The opening three tracks have a very fuzzy, distortion heavy stoner vibe to them – at times almost drone-like quality to their heavy sound – something that they do extremely well. A strong Seventies Proto-metal vibe features through these tracks, mainly so in the vocals. ‘Into The Wormhole’ features heavy 60s Garage vibes in terms of vocal harmonies, with that driving drumbeat stopping it from edging into the slower, drone end of the modern Stoner scene.
Tracks four to six take on a cleaner tone, yet somehow not losing much of the menacing atmosphere that the three openers immediately install in your head. The psychedelic and 60s garage feel features a bit more – think along the lines of ‘Fairies Wear Boots’ by Black Sabbath, and you won’t be far off the mark – whilst Kadavar still manage to have that heavy feel to their work. Track six, ‘Tribulation Nation’ features a step more towards Hawkwind in terms of feel, though along their harder edge rather than some of the better known and lighter releases of theirs.
The last shift of sound is the final four tracks. A much more apparent nod to the likes of Jefferson Airplane features in ‘The Lost Child’.
‘You Found The Best In Me’, track nine, is the group’s effort at a ballad, and a valiant one at that, sounding like it would not be too out of place on a Scorpions album. The very last track, ‘A L’Ombre Du Temps’ features very low, almost background musicianship, with an overlay of spoken French vocals right through taking the main focus, giving an almost introspective feel to the album closer.
Overall, being new to the band, but a fan of the style, I found this to be an immediately accessible and highly creditable release, to the point I’ve already now purchased their back catalogue. Influences of Black Sabbath can be heard constantly through the almost hypnotic bass lines, whilst the guitar riffs and effects could almost have been written by Tony Iommi himself – high praise indeed!
01. Rough Times
02. Into The Wormhole
03. Skeleton Blues
04. Die Baby Die
06. Tribulation Nation
07. Words Of Evil
08. The Lost Child
09. You Found The Best In Me
10. A L’Ombre Du Temps
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KadavarOfficial
Get the album here: Kadavar/rough-times