Album Review: Graveyard – “Peace”

Dead shall rise

Almost a year to the day after releasing fourth full-length Innocence & Decadence in 2015, Gothenburg blues ghouls Graveyard hung up their cloaks. Kinda sorta. Starting at “officially closed,” the lean, moody, lightning-rod live quartet concluded its post with “stay tuned.”

Streamlined garage rock certainty, Innocence & Decadence executed peak songs and sound, while pivoting farthest from the tensile surge of Graveyard’s self-titled bow and its succeeding refinements Hisingen Blues (2011) and Lights Out (2012). Blue Cheer torque and evil-hearted Yardbirds spook had softened into Cream lite. Peace now reconciles all variants perfectly.

“It Ain’t Over Yet” regroups at a thrilling sprint behind new drummer Oskar Bergenheim and enduring secret weapon Joakim Nilsson, whose raspy call-to-arms here recalls a throat-flayed Ian Gillan. Dual guitar thrust leaves bandwidth for psych organ that lends the whole locomotive a faintly unhinged quality reminiscent of Finnish fiends Oranssi Pazuzu. “Cold Love” stampedes a Birmingham glower.

Peace settles somewhat after that, re-seeding legitimate Swede folk burnished since day one. “See the Day” piles dead leaves atop a mortally wounded Nilsson, and acoustic flourishes lining “Bird of Paradise” underlie thick, timeless Brit-pop a la Libertines. Both set the stage for “Please Don’t,” a seemingly innocuous Grand Funk Railroad rumbler that unfolds an intricate crescendo straight out of the Hellacopters.

Far and away Nilsson’s most dynamic performance, Peace rises and falls on the frontman’s urgent howl, his accents crackling across the ear. “Walk On” also builds to glory behind the singer’s nuanced avalanche of Valhalla. Longest cut last, “Low (I Wouldn’t Mind)” teases a double clutching straight out of “Space Truckin’.”

Graveyard is re-open for business.