THE GRAVIATORS (s/t) CD
I still cannot understand why The Graviators flew under my radar till I found out, they were supporting Saint Vitus on their recent tour. Maybe I am not as informed anymore as I used to be. But it seems to me like there were more people surprised by this band. And they were positively surprised mostly and that for a good reason. The Graviators fucking rock. Yep, they do. And their debut album for Transubstans is one of my personal highlights of recent times. Their approach to doomy heaviness is right up my alley. No epic metal moments, no slower than slow attitude, no overly melancholic vocal lines, just rock. Rock and riffs that have me moving even if they go into a slower part. The band has an undeniable ability to mix retro 70’s Proto Doom attitude and some riffs that remind of the first wave of Doom Metal like Count Raven, Saint Vitus and the like with more up tempo heavy rocking parts.
There is stuff that reminds of Pentagram and you can always get me with that. Add some progressive tempo or time changes every now and then and here we go. No only in the musical department the quartet from Sweden got all it takes to excite the author, but singer Niklas Sjöberg has some pipes that fit the music well and his vocal lines give a little hit potential to songs like 'Storm Of Creation', if it only had a more pop-like verse-chorus-verse-chorus-arrangement, and especially 'Back To The Sabbath'. Later has some nice high pitched screams King Diamond couldn't have done better or higher. The biggest problem of this album might be that nearly all songs go into a similar direction but for me the small differences in arrangements, the little progressive parts or just an acoustic guitar in between are diversity enough to enjoy this album.
C'mon, honestly: If you cannot groove to the swinging chorus of 'Juggernaut' or bang to the hard rocking 'Shapes Of Babylon' with the best guitar solo of the album, then there is something wrong with you. A big bow to Black Sabbath in 'Mountain Man' or 'Roller' and a short trip into Space (Rock) with 'Saturnus' as well as a little but highly entertaining stereotype ('She’s A Witch') are not missing either. The Graviators surely do not invent anything. Actually they are pretty unoriginal but they write good songs. They are not all similarly good and the closing Doom Metal slab 'Planet Gone' appears to be a little misplaced as it seems a bit more modern at first…but I enjoy this album and I think it is a nice addition to your collection of doomy heavy rock.