Written by: AP on 05/12/2012 13:44:02

Over the past couple of years, the retro rock revivalist movement spearheaded by bands like the Swedish duo Witchcraft and Graveyard has begun to gain momentum. This seems hardly a coincidence; as modern production techniques enable musicians to stitch together digitally manipulated parts without even having to rehearse a full song, the movement feels like a deliberate reaction to a market that has all but lost its human element. Bands like the subject of this review, the German trio Kadavar, exist to remind us that some things should perhaps have remained analogue.

Despite having existed just under three years, Kadavar can already boast an impressive CV that includes this self-titled studio album, a full-length split with White Ring, a 7" EP titled "Creature of the Demon", and support gigs for a string of legendary bands that counts Electric Wizard, Pentagram, Saint Vitus and Sleep. As you might expect, then, their sound is best described as a mixture of classic rock, stoner, psychedelic and doom paying homage to the likes of Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. The lo-fi production only strengthens the impression, and while the relative lack of low-end punch - not to mention the inclusion of screeches, scratches and other glitches - may be offputting to some listeners, it is for this reason precisely that Kadavar's music sounds so refreshing. Forget all about layering; Kadavar have put on their album exclusively stuff that can be played live without a backing track or loop pedals.

There is an organic feel to the proceedings here that gives me a warm buzz, the band's frequent lapses into psychedelic jams adding a nice touch of differentiation from the aforementioned Swedish bands. It isn't as accessible, or as instantly memorable as the music of those outfits, but once you take the time to indulge yourself in songs like "Black Sun", "Goddess of Dawn" and "Creature of the Demon", you're likely to experience something resembling an epiphany. Arrays of rock'n'roll riffs drive the songs forward, while soulful wah-wah infused solos wind their way into groovy bass foundations, often culminating in noisy, acidic crescendos; Wolf Lindemann's Robert Plant/Ozzy Osbourne inspired singing adding the final touch.

Listening to these songs, it becomes obvious how music in the 60's and 70's differed from the music of today. Where today, most live shows are little more than precise renditions of recorded material performed by a band standing on stage, it is easy to recognize the enormous difference between hearing Kadavar's music live and on record. The reach and punch which analogue production techniques could not capture in the studio will be present, with the result that the band's music is likely to sound exceptionally heavy in concert. Sadly, this is somewhat of a double-edged sword, as due to the fact that the album lacks a degree of immediacy that bands like Graveyard and Witchcraft have as a result of discarding the psychedelic element from their sound in favour of a more direct approach, "Kadavar" is a challenging album to get into.

If, however, you already swear by Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin, both of whom were quite keen on writing songs that didn't immediately reveal the full wealth of the qualities, then "Kadavar" should be no chore for you. In any case, given the band's swift gain in popularity, it would be wise to start checking Kadavar's material out now, lest you miss out on an imminent underground sensation.

Download: Black Sun, Goddess of Dawn, Creature of the Demon
For the fans of: Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin
Listen: Facebook

Release date 10.07.2012
Magnificent Music

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