Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Sideburn - IV Monument (album review)
So with all that out of the way as a set up, let it be known right now that Sideburn is not one of those retro rock bands. Sure, there's a vapor of seventies in the air as you'll find on any heavy guitar based album, but Sideburn is different. There is some feeling of eighties and nineties as well, sure, but this is an individualistic band with an individualistic identity. Their sound can almost be described as stripped down metal with absolutely devastatingly heavy guitar tone, used masterfully by Morgan Zocek and Jani Kataja, especially when played menacingly slow (see "Fire And Water"). When they play fast they are stone hard, high and tough, when they play it slow they are absolutely magmatic.
Bassist Martin Karlsson and drummer Fredrik Haake are not to be left out of the discussion either. Karlsson's virtuosic performance and lively grooves are the true backbone of every song on the record and Haake performs out of his skull on all nine tracks, delivering quality beats with character every single time out even while so much is asked of him in terms of the varied tempos and twists and turns in each of the compositions.
This is truly a fantastic record. Even the 'power ballad' of the record "Crossing The Lines" is excellent. Typically, the slower songs are the ones I tune out but I see this one as a "sittin' on the porch in the spring time drinking a beer watching the sunset" kind of number, it's got a great feel.
At the end of the day, I'm really glad I got to know 'Sideburn IV - Monument'. It's got moments of caterwauling hard rock, ballad-y songs that don't waste time and molten doom in the form of songs like "Fire and Water" and "The Last Day". But more than that, being a child of the grunge / Pantera nineties who was raised on classic rock and metal there's something about this record that really speaks to me. And that's not to contradict my opening spiel, this is not strictly a throwback record in terms of sound, the old references aren't slavishly reproduced, they are lovingly revitalized in a whole new light.
Highlights include: "Silverwing" and "Tomorrows Dream"
1). Diamonds (6:04)
2). Fire and Water (6:09)
3). Tomorrows Dream (4:07)
4). Crossing The Lines (6:25)
5). The Last Day (7:05)
6). Silverwing (7:27)
7). The Saviour (6:52)
8). Bring Down The Rain (5:11)
9). Monument (7:44)
Total Run Time: 56:59
Morgan Zocek - Guitar, Background vocals
Jani Kataja - Lead vocals, Guitar
Martin Karlsson - Bass, Organ, Background vocals
Fredrik Haake - Drums, Percussion
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Genre: Rock, Metal, Traditional Doom, Stoner
Reminds me of: Black Label Society, Down, Grand Magus, Led Zeppelin, Mage, Mos Generator, Tea Party, Terra Firma
Release Date: October 3, 2012
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Springtime at dusk, crack a beer and rock out.
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