Tuesday 28 May 2013

Kadavar - ABRA KADAVAR - Review

KADAVAR - Abra Kadavar

Kadavar is a Psych/Doom/Stoner Rock Band from Berlin, Germany

The members are:

Lupus Lindemann - Vocals/ Guitar
Mammut - Rivoli
Tiger - Drums

Fans of German trio Kadavar’s self-titled debut didn’t have long to wait for the band’s next opus. We had only just gotten to know the bearded wunderkinds before they announced that work was starting on their next album. It seemed sudden, perhaps too early. But just as their musical heroes had done during that venerated decade of rollerskates and bellbottoms, Kadavar were intent on pushing their creative limits and striking while the iron was still hot. This re-visited trend of bands no longer waiting two to five years to release albums on a regular basis has its detractors, and for good reason, but “not waiting” is the secret behind ‘Abra Kadavar’ and it’s creative success.

Think back, waaaay back to last July and the release of ‘Kadavar’ (that’s right, not even a full calendar year has gone by since the release of their last full-length album). It was a terrific album, oozing seventies sensibilities, full of oddmetre syncopation and progressive song structures while showing enough promise to be given the label “debut of the year” on The Obelisk webzine. After signing with German powerhouse label Nuclear Blast Records this past winter, album number two has been served up and put on offer and we’re only into springtime. Kadavar are nothing if not fast workers and smooth operators. Now think on the sound of the last record, what the overall impression was. For some, the overall impression might have been something like riff mulch, song ideas thrown into a meat grinder and blended together, but never lacking for top notch grist (in the form of those riffs). One after another the riffs wouldn’t stop and they were all excellent. For some, it might have seemed like Kadavar’s six song album was like a patchwork monster of 20+ songs compacted into six, which actually suits the band name quite well.

Now forget everything you know about how the band constructs songs and riffs, because ‘Abra Kadavar’ is an entirely streamlined affair from top to bottom. Trimmed is the fat! Gone are the madcap arrangements! The progressive flights of fancy have largely relaxed their tired wings and finally settled in to nest. While on the surface this may sound like a step backwards in development for the band, but it’s actually a flying leap forward.

It would seem that Kadavars have busy hands, and the less time given for them to tinker, the less unwieldy the end result of their labors will be. ‘Kadavar’ seemed to throw more riffs down the listener’s ear holes than one could process. ‘Abra Kadavar’ casts a spell with but a simple verse-chorus combo and for that reason makes each of the ten tracks on the album more memorable and more individualistic. As individual songs go, when thinking back on ‘Kadavar’, “All Our Thoughts” and “Purple Sage” stick out, but that’s about it. Not that the other four tracks were bad, boring or uninteresting, it’s just that their crowded structures and busy riffs made them a little samey. It’s not difficult to differentiate Kadavar’s new songs.

Once again, and this time around perhaps more so, Kadavar positively soak the listener in seventies sounds and vibes. A live recording with minimal vocal / guitar solo overdubs only serves to enhance these vibes. Menacing grooves, bright and manic solos, heavy handed chunking head down rifferamas, make Kadavar one of the most authentic ‘retro rock’ outfits on the market today. Maybe even thee most.

Some were disappointed when they heard “Doomsday Machine”, the first song released from this album, but that’s because they weren’t hearing the work in its entirety. As an album, everything hangs together until an identifiable sound emerges without it all getting too samey. Again, because the elements and song ideas aren’t all crammed together but each is given its own weight, its own time to shine, each song remains distinctive and demolishing. And fear not, for Kadavar haven’t changed their sound so much as its form, the riff content retains the early feel, the riffs are just less busy, the timing and rhythms more traditionally rocking and less proggy, but they remain recognizably Kadavar. If this album had actually been released during that epochal decade in rock, it would be remembered as a classic, thankfully for us fortunate enough to live in the now, ‘Abra Kadavar’ becomes our classic. This may just be the last album standing by the year’s end to top ‘best of’ lists across the world.

Written by Lucas Klaukien

Thanks to Nuclear Blast Records for sending a copy for ourselves to review. Much appreciated.

Abra Kadavar is now available to buy from all good stockists now including Nuclear Blast Store. 

Check This Great Band from the links below: