Kadavar- Abra Kadavar

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, May 11, 2013

Out of all the recent throwback hard rock/proto metal bands, Germany’s Kadavar was easily one of my favorites. The group released their self-titled debut last year on Tee Pee Records and instantly made an impression with strong riffs and production values that pulled off the analog sound without feeling like a mere imitation. Less than a year later Kadavar finds themselves on Nuclear Blast Records alongside Witchcraft and Graveyard and they have already prepared a follow-up effort entitled Abra Kadavar. For the most part it continues the sound they established previously but the riffs continue to be top notch and as a result this is another stand out release.

On their debut the group showcased influences from hard rock, proto metal, and heavy psych, with Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath being some of the most prominent. This sound has continued on Abra Kadavar, but these guys have once again showcased that they have catchy riffs that help them stand out rather than relying on a nostalgic style. Kadavar pulls from just about every aspect of the genre, often hopping between fast paced riffs that have a heavier tone and mellower arrangements that have a spaced out psychedelic flair. While quite a few of the guitar leads have a familiar feel, especially if you’ve been listening to this genre for decades, the strength of the writing makes the tracks have instant appeal. It also helps that the group has once again gone for a warm, analog sound that gives the instrumentals the right amount of crunchiness and often make it sound as though these songs could have been ripped right out of the 70s. My favorite moments come when the instrumentals embrace a hazy mist as there’s something about the atmosphere that’s truly entrancing. I have yet to decide whether I like this album better than its predecessor or not just yet, but the fact that these guys have written two releases in such close proximity that are fun to listen to from beginning to end is a very good thing.

Lead singer Lupus Lindemann has a voice that is perfect for this type of music, and while it isn’t quite as high pitched as some of the other hard/psychedelic rock singers out there the style is still skewed towards edgy melodies rather than a gruffer sound. Lindemann goes it alone throughout Kadavar’s material, and rather than using other members of the band for backup he sometimes throws in some reverb and echo to make his voice take over even more of the sound. There’s the right amount of edginess to the performance, but what I like the most is that rather than staying on overdrive for the entire release when the instrumentals slow down and head in a spacier direction the vocals follow their lead. Kadavar also strikes the perfect balance between elements, giving the vocals the right amount of space to grab the listener without overwhelming the instrumental arrangements.

Kadavar has not suffered from a sophomore slump at all, and while I think I like both of their albums about equally it’s impressive that they were able to put together another strong release so quickly. There may be a lot of groups out there touching upon this particular musical style right now, but this band is one that does so convincingly and doesn’t feel like a mere nostalgic retread. I’m happy that they have the support from a big label like Nuclear Blast, and hopefully Abra Kadavar is a sign that there is still plenty to look forward to as the band continues to grow.


Leave a Reply