Lights Out: This isn’t the Graveyard I fell in love with

After months of anticipation, being tempted with music, lyric and update videos, this Tuesday finally saw the release of Graveyard’s newest album, “Lights Out”. A follow up to 2011’s “Hisingen Blues”, their second album released through Nuclear Blast.

I’d like to start by saying I absolutely fucking adore “Hisingen Blues”, it is by far one my of favorite albums. It was the perfect combination of booze addled rock ‘n’ roll and bluesy riffage, all wrapped up in one impeccably played package. The riffs were catchy, the vocals were hair raising and the solo work was down right astonishing in it’s originality and sheer air-guitar-during-a-funeral groovyness.

So without me splooging on too much more, it goes without saying I was hitting play on “Lights Out” with expectations of this same recipe for musical bliss. Sadly this was not the case as I made my way through this newest release.

Don’t think that “Lights Out” is a bad album, not by any stretch. It’s a fucking great album and you should totally pick it up. What it isn’t however, is the same type of roll established in 2011. I guess this sort of thing is to be expected when you grow so attached to one specific point in a bands career, which makes it harder to adjust to the new sound brought to the table. This is exactly my case with “Lights Out”.

Probably the most noticeable change in the formula is a much, much heftier addition of the blues. Both lyrically and musically Graveyard seem to be painting a much darker picture over the 9 track album. Starting right from the opener, “An Industry Of Murder”, you can hear the subtle changes, something just sounds…different. The guitar tone seems denser, the fuzz that much thicker, and somehow a warbling synth that just seems out of place.

However as the track closes your still satisfied with the amount of rocking brought to the table and just seem to be getting your groove on. Then “Slow Motion Countdown” throws you yet another curveball. I’ll admit it, there’s points in this song when the vocals just sound bad to me, highs he just shouldn’t be hitting.  The synths make a return in the admittedly epic sounding chorus but this still isn’t the Graveyard I was hoping for.

This trend towards sadder and more cathartic songs plays itself out over the course of the album. Gone are the rousing anthems from Hisingen, in there places are a series of tracks that have a lot more on their mind. There’s a certain beauty to the album in this way, as the carousing and hard rocking make way for a much older and experienced sound. The party has all but dried up, leaving everything cold, dark and alone.

Even the more rip roaring tracks like “Seven Seven” or “Fool In the End” echo with some form of sentimental sentiment. Your enjoy yourself, certainty, but your also being driven to think about some of the more difficult things. Maybe it’s just me but this feels like a depressed album, crooning it’s story from the gutter, with nothing more than rags for clothes.

But even with all that said, and even with the sad lack of toe-curling solos, and even with the addition of some questionable synth work, “Lights Out” is a solid album from a solid band. Since I had such a large attachment to their previous album you might disagree with my opinion, you might even find this sound preferable. Suffice to say, I’m going to have this album several more listen through’s before I can truly make up my mind.

“Lights Out” is availble through Nuclear Blast Records at all of the major outlets. (I got mine through HMV because Canadian iTunes sucks.)

Here’s the videos for “Endless Night” and “Goliath”.

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8 thoughts on “Lights Out: This isn’t the Graveyard I fell in love with”

  1. I don’t always pre-order albums two months in advance…

    …but when I do, I get a shipping notification ON the damn release date.

    Still really unhappy about this, and I’m afraid the longer I end up waiting, the more my opinion willl ultimately resemble yours (or worse).

    1. Ouch that sucks man. You would have thought the shipping date would have been timed so you got your album on the actual release date, not weeks later.

      1. When I placed my order they said it would ship “the week of October 30th” but that they didn’t guarantee it would arrive before the street date. Oh well, it finally came today!!

          1. First of all, I really liked the darker, slower, bluesier moments of the last album — so your description didn’t really sound as negative to me as you seemed to intend. (Which, as you made clear, wasn’t really that negative anyway).

            Having said that… I heard the first two or three songs and I was confused by your assessment because it starts out pretty up-tempo, and one of those first songs (might’ve been the first one, I don’t remember right now) reminded me a LOT of the “Hisingen Blues” title track.

            It wasn’t actually until this weekend that I had a chance to hear the whole thing. Most of my CD listening is done in the car, which my wife has during the week, so I’m only in it briefly in the evenings and extensively on the weekends. But that also means it’s usually with the whole family present too, so it isn’t as easy to listen very closely or critically.

            But, past those first few songs, there wasn’t a whole lot that especially grabbed my attention — when the album ended, I was kind of surprised because I hadn’t realized how long it had been playing.

            Like you said, it will take more listens, and more careful listens, and I suspect it may be a grower. But the previous one was pretty much standout after standout, almost the whole way through, and really impressive from the very first time through — so this was a different experience than that.

            1. Yeah that’s pretty much what I was trying to encapsulate. The first album just floored me song after song, where this one didn’t have the same oomph I guess.

              I’ve given it a couple more spins and definitely like it much more. It’s not as good as Hisingen, but it has it’s own good qualities.

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