Kadavar – self-titled

By Gruesome Greg

Following in the recent footsteps of Graveyard and Royal Thunder, German trio Kadavar, Tee Pee Records’ latest signing, attempts to bring the 70’s back with their bluesy heavy rock on this, their debut LP. You can’t really give ‘em any points for originality, so it all comes down to execution on this one.

Opener “All Our Thoughts” recalls Led Zeppelin more than Black Sabbath, what with its cleaner tones, not to mention their singer’s wail that definitely resembles Robert Plant’s. Some of the riffs are certainly Sabbathian, but played with a certain brightness that Iommi didn’t possess. (Black Sabbath and “bright” don’t belong in the same sentence!) “Black Sun” sounds a little more like Sabbath though, particularly its heavy chorus riff, while the verses contain next to no guitar, being entirely bass-and-drum driven and allowing the slightly-accented singer to shine. You can see that this band is (heavily) drawing inspiration here without being a complete ripoff.

“Forgotten Past” actually reminds me a bit of Blood Ceremony’s debut, its impactful crunchy riff sounding an awful lot like “Return to Forever”—which in turn sounds like a few other doom tunes, no doubt—but there’s something about the overall loose, bluesy 70’s feel of this one that brings BC to mind. “Goddess of Dawn” picks up the pace a bit, a driving, doomy number a la “Hole in the Sky,” with the singer adopting more of a nasal tone a la Ozzy.

“Creature of the Demon,” despite its silly song title, rocks pretty hard, another up-tempo Sabbathian stomper that really puts the pedal to the metal. “Purple Sage” then serves as the epic eight-minute album closer, starting off with some swirling effects which create more of a psychedelic vibe—think Hawkwind as opposed to Sabbath. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if they explored this direction a bit further on their follow-up, but as it is, I have no major complaints. So much of doom is just Sabbath worship anyways, so these guys should fit right in.

(Tee Pee)

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.