Graveyard – Innocence & Decadence (Nuclear Blast)

Genre: Heavy Rock/Blues Rock

Details: Single disc limited edition (300) orange vinyl/Gatefold sleeve

Graveyard raid the souls of 70s heavy rockers, wrap them in a fashionable film of shiny Scando metal and create a lush soundscape quite unlike anything else out there right now.

Enjoying Innocence & Decadence on transparent orange vinyl adds an other-worldly feel to what is already an unpredictable, unfamiliar experience.

The potentially jarring juxtaposition between retro and modern shouldn’t really work and yet that’s exactly what Graveyard have been working towards since 2007’s self-titled debut.

In many respects this is poles apart from that raw, adrenaline-fuelled first tilt at redrawing the heavy rock blueprint. It’s an altogether smoother affair with slow burners Exit 97 and Stay For A Song forcing the listener to appreciate the finer points of Joacim Nilsson and Jonatan Larocca-Ramm’s vocal range.

It’s a gamble. Deconstruct the lyrics to Stay For A Song and there’s an almost childlike refrain underpinning – or undermining, depending upon your viewpoint – the emotional set closer: On stage when I face a crowd of people I still feel alone/But I know I’m a decent singer and most days I can keep my tone reveal the Graveyard guys. It’s almost too awkward.

This most intriguing of bands are much more appealing when rocking out Doors-like on the groove-laden Can’t Walk Out – side one’s penultimate track and a glorious example of just how good Graveyard can be. Their authenticity and understanding of what constitutes a heavenly heavy blues classic is borne out on this most absorbing of tunes.

Three tracks from home and Hard-Headed may eclipse the lot as the best song here and one of the best of this band’s colourful career. If you’ve yet to experience the Graveyard shift then Innocence and Decadence is a great place to start.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 The Hard Yards