Any rocker worth his salt eventually realizes the paradox of total heaviosity: even the heaviest riff requires a light touch, and moments of brutal rage become meaningless without some lightness to offset the shade. When heavier bands nowadays acknowledge this need for dynamics, they tend to get pegged as '70s retro, Exhibit A being Gothenburg, Sweden's Graveyard. Since forming in 2006 from the ashes of Norrsken, Joachim Nilsson and Co. have tried to walk the line between today's hard-rock trends and the long legacy of heavy rock and roll. "When we started out, we decided that we wanted to do something that sounded somewhere in-between Howlin' Wolf and Slayer," Nilsson says. "We felt that there was more than one way to be heavy."
Perhaps the success of their approach is due to their ability to appreciate the crushing weight of the old masters without feeling the need to pay homage — and to the way they channel the pain of the blues into modern rage, especially on last year's Lights Out (Nuclear Blast). "We don't care if we seem, you know, indie uncool," Nilsson laughs. "We listen to a lot of blues and love it. The good stuff is always great. We're kind of always angry, we argue and all that, and the result sometimes is angry blues. Which is just great rock and roll, man."
GRAVEYARD + THE SHRINE:: Royale, 279 Tremont St, Boston :: January 23 @ 7 pm :: 18+ :: $18 :: 617.338.7699 or boweryboston.com
: Music Features
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