Kadavarhails from Germany, that’s right you have to travel across the globe these days to find able practitioners of rock and roll music. The trio formed in Berlin and released their first album in 2012. They then signed with Nuclear Blast before releasing their second album a year later, and they just recently released their 3rd album, titled “Berlin”. Kadavar has a really retro ‘70s sound, pulling influences from Zeppelin to Sabbath to Thin Lizzy, but also incorporating these influences into their own sound. The new album “Berlin” changes things up a little compared to their first two albums. It sounds different, maybe a little more contemporary. There are still heavy retro-vibes, but the sound is a little more modern with the new album. Maybe the band realized they were confident enough with their sound that they no longer had to totally mimic the exact sound from that era. Kadavar made an excellent decision to not spotlight themselves on the new album cover. They’re not the most handsome dudes (looking like they’re living in the ‘70s), and combined with the retro-style of the cover designs, these were not album covers you would be proudly displaying anywhere. “Berlin” has a great cover though, I won’t be able to explain it well but it’s a black and white close-up of a woman wearing huge reflective sunglasses with her hair blowing around her face and sunlight shining on her face. You can see a reflection in each of her lenses, one shows an old airplane propeller and the other showsthe heads of two women walking by the plane. Then in the top left corner, in red, is the band’s logo and the name of the album. Great album cover, and the band members are not visible on it. While I heartily recommend the entire album (listening to it always puts a smile on my face), here are three of my favorite songs from “Berlin”. I can recommend any of them though, the album is that consistent.
“Last Living Dinosaur” – This is the second track on the album and the first single, which was a good choice. Track starts off with a guitar riff, then the drums and the bass kick in. After that cycles out, there’s some nice guitar work before the first verse kicks in. The guitars have just the right amount of distortion, the bass rumbles nicely and the drums are clear. All the right elements for a great rock song. Around the final minute of the track, there’s a great instrumental breakdown before the band kicks into the main riff again to close out the track. Then as the song closes, the guitarist does a quick solo on a different effects pedal to wrapit up.
“Pale Blue Eyes” – The fifth song on the album, this track has a great start as the band again isolates some cymbals before the guitar kicks in and the bass and drums roar in right after. Once the verse starts, the guitarist starts playing along with the vocals, which is a nice effect. Then the last line before the chorus the guitar drops back a little while the bassplays along with the vocal. I can’t help but think the chorus is tied into the album cover in some way, even though you can’t see the woman’s eyes in the photo. This song is a great example of being able to easily follow any of the instruments separately. The guitarist has the spotlight during most of this song though. The track rolls by quickly, and it’s a fun little jam from Kadavar.
“Stolen Dreams” – Follows “Pale Blue Eyes on the album, without a pause between tracks which is a great transition as the last ringing guitar note from “Pale Blue Eyes” immediately kicks into “Stolen Dreams”. Another great guitar riff, and this album is stacked with them. The song pushes the tempo a little bit quicker than the other tracks. The chorus on this track is soaring and epic, a great pick me up song. This song in particular reminds me of some older material from The Sword, a band Kadavar is actually touring with right now (they played in SF last Friday). I really wish I could have made it to that double-bill.