Song Of The Day

Graveyard: Beyond 'Stoner Rock'

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • "Right Is Wrong"
  • Album: Graveyard
  • Artist: Graveyard
  • Label: Transubstans
  • Released: 2007
 

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "Right Is Wrong"
  • Artist: Graveyard
  • CD: Graveyard
  • Genre: Rock
Graveyard 300

hide caption"Right Is Wrong," from Graveyard's deftly produced debut, is a proto-metal epic built to scale.

Anders Bergstedt

It's not uncommon for Scandinavian bands to fetishize the hippest sounds and aesthetics from throughout rock history. What separates Graveyard — as well as its sister act of sorts, Witchcraft — is that those fetishes are held in near-perfect balance with the group's own personality. In other words, it would be an injustice to include the quartet's dynamic take on blues-soaked '70s hard rock under tags such as "stoner rock," "doom," or anything else that aims to make Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer's sludge even more limited in range.

"Right Is Wrong," the penultimate track on Graveyard's deftly produced self-titled debut, is a proto-metal epic built to scale, a song that plays effectively to each of the band's temperaments and strengths. Singer-guitarist Joakim Nillson's stout, striking voice hits first, with a singularity that comes less from quirks and more from sheer might — the kind of commanding howl that could easily help him escape rock-geek cult status.

Where others working in the secondhand-Sabbath milieu often bludgeon through their songs' sections without distinction, or groove ad nauseam in the name of psychedelia, "Right Is Wrong" juxtaposes simmering verses and solos with explosive choruses and a big-riff breakdown, crafting real drama that emits light to go with the heat. There's Sabbath in Graveyard, sure, but also Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, Cream and the nimble interplay of San Francisco's Summer of Love mainstays.

In some fashion, Graveyard's macabre name, metalhead lyrics ("Satan's Finest" closes the album) and taste for fantastical cover art do it a disservice. The band's appeal travels far beyond rock nostalgia, into genuine songcraft.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Related NPR Stories

Web Resources

Purchase Featured Music

Graveyard

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Graveyard
  • Artist: Graveyard
  • Label: Transubstans
  • Released: 2007
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Song Of The Day