After the demise of Graveyard, it could be argued that Kadavar are now the leading purveyors of Euro psych—at least on the continent. Their fourth album, and third for Nuclear Blast, would do little to disprove this theory, as the Berlin trio brings some solid tuneage for a good 45 minutes.
Rough Times opens with the title track, immediately erupting in a heavy rhythm section with a swirling, psychedelic guitar riff. The crunchy riff that hits around the two-minute mark signals a slight change of pace, proving they can sludge it up with the best of ‘em. “Into the Wormhole” opens on a similarly crunchy note, in contrast to the soaring clean vocal. They almost even out-uncle Uncle Acid on this one…
The first few songs flow together, with “Skeleton Blues” bordering on stoner doom, while lead single “Die Baby Die” is much more upbeat and up-tempo… in spite of its morbid subject matter. (I lost count of how many times he says “Die!”) A ripping guitar solo redeems the otherwise unmemorable “Vampires,” while “Words of Evil” takes its Sabbath worship to a faster tempo than the fearsome foursome frequently employed. There are also some softer moments, such as meandering six-minute power ballad “The Lost Child” and the bluesy, southern-rock strains of “You Found the Best in Me,” showing that Kadavar can do more than play the same two riffs for 63 minutes.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that—sometimes.)