Wearing their name with pride, Swedish bluesmen boil their lava up and spill it out.
Scandinavia seems an unlikely place for a music this hot, but guitarist Matti Norlin doesn’t really care and wisely allows such an attitude ring between the notes of the band he’s been leading for a dozen years now. Unlikeliness plays a major part in the trio’s debut for nobody could tell that PAIN OF SALVATION’s bassist Gustaf Hielm, who used to rumble with MESHUGGAH, and GOD IS MY CO-PILOT’s skin-kicker Fredrik Haake would engage in hunting the Snark in the Southern waters rather than fjords. Yet they are, and there ain’t no point in pointing a finger at a cut called “Calculated Moves” which is so sharp in its swampy, slide-rolling ride that the finger might get cut, as its reckless surge kills the slightest thought of reckoning at the root.
“Join my army, we’ll have some fun,” goes “Break Down” before its acoustic wave is whipped with a punky riff, and the collective laughter seeps through the cracks of this track as well as the footstompin’ “Draw The Curtain” to bring the meek into submission on “Obey” where doom and gloom thicken thunderously. To get to the bottom of it all, though, one needs to drown in “Down To Earth” with its mighty twang and catchy chorus giving a weighty twitch to the tight-but-loose interplay, in “Break The Circle” rendered hypnotic by a groovy unison, while getting too deep results in the eerie howl of “Graveyard Dance” that turns steel strings into a midnight lightning. “The First Female Skydiver” might misplace its dynamic acrobatics and show some slack until the rhythm section pumps some adrenalin in until “Stand” introduces slinky shuffle to the mix to make it more palatable. Or polite as the album’s title suggest, yet the time has come to get rid of the “if could” part of it.