Graveyard - Innocence & Decadence

Graveyard - Innocence & Decadence

(CD/LP, Nuclear Blast, 2015)

Throughout every band’s career, restarting or resetting the engine is a sure thing to happen. I mean, life goes on no matter what and you have to make the right calls to move on. This is what happened to Sweden’s finest GRAVEYARD when founding member / bassist Rikard Edlund had to take care of himself, so he parted ways with the band not so long time ago. But our beloved Swedes had to find a way to go on. And they did; Truls Mörck joined GRAVEYARD (who played lead guitar on the band’s debut and then was replaced by current lead guitarist Jonatan Ramm), and a few months later “Innocence & Decadence” came out, marking the band’s fourth studio release.

First of all, allow me to say that “Innocence & Decadence” doesn’t start from where its predecessor “Lights Out” had stopped. Well, it was almost impossible for this to happen, since that album gained the ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ prize by fans and the Press, so now with clear mind it’s time to see where GRAVEYARD are standing today. “Magnetic Shunk” opens the album with that classic signature GRAVEYARD mixture waking up many memories from the “Hisinger Blues” album. Joakim sounds passionate as always, spitting the lyrics from the very depths of his soul, while the rest of the gang gives mastery lessons of how late-‘60s / early-‘70s Rock should be played. The organic sound, the smooth-flowing guitar jamming, the sweet Rock nostalgia are all here right before your eyes and then, the laid-back melody of “The Apple And The Tree” enters the room and confirms (my) thoughts about GRAVEYARD presenting a cool-er and not so dramatic record like the previous one. The Rory Gallagher / BLUE OYSTER CULT-laden references are spotted instantly and you’ll find yourselves foot-tapping / head-nodding at no time with such an addictive rhythm. But still I’m not feeling the electric wave that hit me with the previous album’s opener “An Industry Of Murder”, even though “Exit 97” comes as moody and Bluesy, cut by pretty much the same cloth with “Uncomfortably Numb”.

As you’ve noticed so far, it’s impossible not to compare these tracks with GRAVEYARD’s previous Rock pieces of Art, and the same goes for the fist-pumping “Never Theirs To Sell” or the soulful Blues-er “Too Much Is Not Enough” that even though are both sound retro, they don’t seem powerful enough to leave the same mark as the other GRAVEYARD hymns have done. I mean, this album does not build the level of anticipation the “Lights Out” beer-black splatter LP still does, moments before dropping the needle on the vinyl. Sure, once “From A Hole In The Wall” has hit the speakers, it feels like a roller-coaster and makes you wanna move around or mosh into the craziest circle-pit, so I can’t wait to see what will happen when (or if) this one makes into future GRAVEYARD setlists.

No matter how much I’d like to hear a “Lights Out” part 2, I am still conscious of the danger of actually listening to just a soulless clone of it. And this is how difficult is for a musician to exceed (or even repeat) himself and create something better than his top-notch work. So, the fact that these guys hit the studio while just being themselves, leaving their instruments and trademark sound to do the rest of the job, showcases that they didn’t let the creativity-stress to take over, and just did their R ‘n’ R duty by serving some enjoyable and catchy tunes. And personally speaking as a fan, I’m totally fine with that. Besides, after every valley you leave behind, you’ll have to climb a mountain and then walk down again the next valley to stretch your legs. Yeah, I’m so curious to see where the Swedes are gonna walk on, after climbing down the “Innocence & Decadence” mountain...





01. Magnetic Shunk
02. The Apple And The Tree
03. Exit 97
04. Never Theirs To Sell
05. Can’t Walk Out
06. Too Much Is Not Enough
07. From A Hole In The Wall
08. Cause & Defect
09. Hard Headed
10. Far Too Close
11. Stay For A Song


Joakim Nilsson - Guitar, Vocals
Jonathan Ramm - Guitar
Truls Mörck - Bass
Axel Sjöberg - Drums