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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Abramis Brama

Dansa Tokjavelns Vals

Review by Gary Hill

So, you say you like classic rock/old school metal by bands like Mountain, Black Sabbath and Captain Beyond? Well, you're sure to like this one, then. The only sticking point really might be that the lyrics are all in the band's native tongue - Swedish. The music is in the universal language of rocking out. Check out the Record Heaven website for info on ordering this disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mamma Talar
Coming in with a riff that feels somewhere between Black Sabbath and Hawkwind's "Master of the Universe," this is a solid classic rocker in the tradition of the hard rock bands of the 1970's. This has a really tasty stoner rocker sort of bridge.
Svarta Madam
If the first track had some Sabbath leanings, the chunky riff that makes up this one is all Sab. This is killer stoner rock, and the Mountain influences are also on hand this time around. This one is a great groove, and the fast paced jam later really kicks.
Dansa Tokjavelns Vals
The bass is the only instrument in a quiet groove at first on this one. Then it explodes into a killer riff that's part Sabbath, part Captain Beyond and maybe a little Sleep. After this, though, it drops back to an almost funky mellower segment for the verse. Then it pumps back up to the killer rocking mode. As the funky mode returns it has more of a jazz texture and just a touch of prog thrown in for good measure. They continue to alternate between these styles by jumping back up, then a decidedly early Sabbath instrumental break moves it into a new direction. When they return to the vocal segment it is more Sabbath-like. Then it drops back to just the bass for a couple lines of vocals before they pump it up again. The alternating pattern from before is back in place from here.
Somnios
Old Sabbath invades this one right from the start with a fast paced energized riff. The band pound away in this manner for the cut, but drop it down just a bit for the verses. This doesn't wander far, but as tasty as it is, you won't really care. Still at about the half way point, they pull in a new riff, still quite Sabbath-like, but just a different groove. Then keys solo over the top of this in a rather prog like fashion. They eventually return to the main riff to carry on, though.
Vad Jag Ser
Wow, I really felt like I had just popped on Sabbath's Paranoid album with this, but then after the intro they jump into a riff straight out of early Uriah Heep to carry the smoking vocal line. The chorus reminds me of Grand Funk and Mountain both with some Sabbath still infiltrating it. They throw in a frantic bass driven jam (nearly a bass solo with guitar punctuation) later that is so Sabbath it's almost scary. This is really one of the highlights of the disc - a sheer scorcher.
Nalen
Drums start this and as the percussion builds it has a world music sort of texture. A smoking guitar riff comes in over the top and when the bass thunders in to join it they launch out into another decidedly Sab-like riff. This one resolves out into more hard rocking jamming in another killer track. In a total change of pace they drop this one mid-song into a pretty sedate jam that feels a bit like a prog rock ballad sort of sound. The guitar weaves some cool melody lines on this instrumental journey. Gradually more metal sounds hint at coming out, and bring some understated vocals with them. Eventually this begins to turn back towards the main riff of the cut until a false ending/pause gives way to a full on frantic Sab metal return. Then the main musical segment comes back in with full force.
100 Dagar
With a wah guitar sound this one feels at first like Jimi Hendrix is in the house, but then the Sabbath elements seem to gradually merge into the mix. As the whole band pounds their way in that Sabbath sound is back in good order. Eventually a fast paced Sab groove takes this into the verse section and song is off in style. This is another strong rocker that reminds me a bit of "Fairies Wear Boots." They stretch out and move this through several variations and even a killer space rock sort of jam. At over 7 minutes this is the longest track on the disc and also my favorite.
Vill Inte Veta
This one is a Sabbath meets Hendrix like scorch-fest that is anotehr strong one here. It makes for a solid album closer. At just under three minutes it is the shortest cut on show here. They get in, get the job done, and then get back out in style.
 
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