Tiebreaker – Death Tunes


Now, we know that Norway is known almost as much for black metal as it is for cross-country skiing, but when it comes to stoner rock, most of the action is happening across the pond in Sweden. Hell, even when we hear of a Norwegian heavy-rock outfit, there’s always at least one black-metal dude in it (see Sahg, Spirits of the Dead). But with that being said, this Bergen-based band shows no traces of a corpse-painted past. They probably still like to ski, though…

Death Tunes is actually Tiebreaker‘s second record—they self-released their debut in 2014, and are now signed to local imprint Karisma Records. This one comes crashing through the gates with “Hell,” a high-octane opening track with some impressive retro riffage, coming off as a cross between vintage Truckfighters and that band from Portland whose name we can’t say in Canada.

The curiously titled “Pan American Grindstone” hits you with a variation of that stop-start riff heard in every retro-rock song from the past 10 years, but then quickly slow things down and blues things out, a mid-paced soul-stirrer similar to Rival Sons, Scorpion Child and some of the other top-drawer 70’s rock revivalists. “Cannonball” is all about the soft/loud dynamic, and comes with quite the heavy chorus—there’s that “dun-da-dun-da-dun” riff again, mind you.

The heavy, blues-rock grooves keep coming, with “Commando” recalling Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen,” while “Anywhere But Here” has shades of Skynyrd—or maybe their modern-day equivalent, Blackberry Smoke. Southern rock from Scandinavia!? Now I’ve heard it all…

Seahawks/Stamps/Flames/Zags/Jays/Raptors fan and lifelong metal head with a beer gut and a self-deprecating sense of humour. Reviewer/blogger (Yon Senior Doomsayer) for Hellbound.ca.

7.5 Rating