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The Driftwood Sign – Broken Times

The Driftwood Sign
Broken Times
by Dave Nowels at 28 January 2020, 8:57 AM

THE DRIFTWOOD SIGN are a Swedish Alt-Metal styled band, focused on a Melodic Heavy Rock radio friendly presence. The band formed in Malmö, Sweden as a result of a particularly good jam session between the musicians in 2009. The band has previously released an EP (The Driftwood Sign EP) back in 2010, and now are set to release their debut full length “Broken Times” independently.

The band is a four piece consisting of Anders Ekenstierna on vocals and guitar, Adam Nilsson on lead guitar and backing vocals and the impressive rhythm section of Gabriel Jankowski on bass and Danny Ebenholtz handling drums. The quartet has made a name for themselves in Sweden having placed fourth in the country's Emergenza Festival's Sweden finals. “Broken Times” is a 10 track release that clocks in at 49 minutes, and provides a no holds barred look at what the band has to offer and their hope that they can reach a broader audience.

The album contains a good balance of mid-tempo rockers (“Will To Live”, “Polarize”) as well as a well crafted power ballad in “Nowhere To Run”. The subject matter of the songs is centered around the divisive world political climate as well as environmental concerns and oppression. The album opens with an impressive start in (“What Is Real”), particularly showcasing Jankowski and Ebenholtz, whose co-habitation of the low end stands out and remains memorable (“Crisis” is just a monster!) throughout the entirety of the album. Ekenstierna's vocals are both perfectly suited, and matched for the material with an almost anthemic quality. Adam Nilsson's guitar begins a tad subdued early, but grows in it's ferocity as the album progresses. The folksy acoustic flourishes on the aforementioned “Nowhere To Run” are a really intrinsic addition that embellishes the song's richness.

Truth is when the album started, it's contrary nature to what I typically listen to turned me off. It seemed a tad vanilla, generic and too subdued for my tastes. But, it's an album that just gets better and better as it progresses, and in doing so, completely won me over. So, while I may prefer my Heavy music with tuned down, fuzzy doom laden riffs, I have to say “Broken Times” is a really good album, and one that gets better with each subsequent listen.

There are opportunities to be sure. I still think the guitar needs more aggression, and the tempo lags a bit here and there. There's also something about the overall production that I just can't put a finger on. But with that said, this is a spectacular debut. It's an effort that will appeal to a wide variety of Heavy music fans and should see THE DRIFTWOOD SIGN expand their popularity well beyond Sweden's borders. “Broken Times” may have been initially released independently, but I can guarantee it's an album that will be scooped up by a label soon. Rightfully so. Get your copy now. Someday, you'll be happy you were able to get an early, first edition copy for your collection.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. What Is Real
2. Polarize
3. Palace Of Bliss
4. Faceless
5. Nowhere To Run
6. Will To Live
7. Crisis
8. Broken Minds
9. Hope
10. It Only Takes One
Anders Ekenstierna: Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Danny Ebenholtz: Drums
Adam Nilsson: Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Gabriel Jankowski: Bass
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 19 January 2021

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