KADAVAR “Abra Kadavar” (Nuclear Blast 2013)

Written by Album Review

You have no idea how much I’ve been waiting for some new material from KADAVAR, since the release of their first eponymous EP last summer… I played it so many times on my turntables that I’m now able to sing every guitar riff or bass line very accurately. Stroke by fanaticism. The band has been touring for so long now, that they felt warm enough to get back in the studio. It took them only a few weeks to record the 9 songs of the new album “Abra Kadavar”. As a result, the spatiotemporal flaw opened up again and we fell into it… (Photo : Lupus Lindemann & Nathini Erber)

ALBUM : “Abra Kadavar”
RELEASE DATE  : April 12, 2013
LABEL : Nuclear Blast
GENRE : hard rock 70’s

For the last few months, I’ve tried to picture all the “KDVR followers” performing their daily ritual, so that the new record would be as good (if not better) than the first one. “Kadavar” was made of six incredibly catchy tracks (like, you hear the riff two or three times, and it gets stuck in your brain for the whole day). They had the power to make each song feel very unique, yet oh so bound with the others… The German shamans tied up the voodoo dolls and injected life into them with a heavy dose of black magic. Enchanted we were.

Upon the release of the new record, rock medias started (deservedly) to buzz, while doing that irritating thing they’ve been doing for months now : labeling KADAVAR as a stoner band. Even though their music may be inspired by the psychedelic wave and the doom pioneers of the 70’s, it doesn’t make them “stoner”. It’s too easy to label a band this way, and it sounds too much like a catch-all term. Especially as “Abra Kadavar” drifts from the previous description and tends to sound more like good ol’ vintage hard rock. At least now, reviewers have one good reason to compare the band to Swedish acts like Witchcraft and Horisont !

Now let me be honest : when I first listened to “Abra Kadavar”, I felt a little bit disappointed. As if no track could really grab my attention during these 41 minutes. It is certainly good proto-rock, but it kind of lost a part of its “from the basement” flavor. The sound may be more tamed and less heavy than on “Kadavar”, the Sabbathian influences may be less prominent (detractors should learn that it has nothing to do with the band’s signing on international label Nuclear Blast, because the record was done before that)… But in the end, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t tell me you would throw away a present on the pretext that you didn’t like the gift-wrap ? Truth is, if you open you chakras and let the music in, you’ll feel the band blossoming as if it was you. If the melodies and tempos are less tinged with this occult flavour we fell in love with on “Kadavar”, the fact remains that they’re fucking explosive and epic. Count a bunch of excellent tunes : “Eye Of The Storm”, “Dust”, “Liquid Dream”, “Black Snake”. Driving on the fast lane all the way long, it will even make us dance like weirdos, ’cause it feels too damn good. Among the strong points that deserve to be highlighted : Wolf has gained confidence in his singing, the man finally released his voice and we love it. Blooming, I said !

“You can’t reinvent the wheel, but you can roll it” : this is what Kadavar does with verve. That’s why everyone loves them. As real gifted rockers, they may have arrived recently in the game, they beat everyone else to the punch !

Last modified: 11 February 2015