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Märvel – Graces Came with Malice

Graces Came with Malice
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 June 2022, 6:40 AM

MARVEL was formed in 2002 when John Steen, Ulrik Bostedt, and Tony Samuelsson spent a high school exchange year in Colorado, USA. Ditching classes, drinking beer and playing rock n roll in the garage gave the world “Marvellous,” their first EP. The band got airtime on several college radio stations before they left the USA and returned to Sweden with lousy grades, but high spirits.  2022 marks the 20th anniversary for the band, which is celebrated with the brand new album “Graces Came with Malice.” The album contains ten tracks.

“Slasher with a Broken Heart” opens the album. The guitar work is fairly minimalistic, but the bass work is nice, and the song has solid hooks. The layered vocals are also a nice touch. “The Disaster” is another easy listening tune with a fast-moving energy. The bassist again lays down a nice bass line, and I love that you can hear him play. “Sounds of Life Slipping Away” opens with a riff with a little swing in it. The tones here are just a bit sadder than the previous two tracks.

“Great Man” begins with more energy in the riff. The songs so far flirt just a bit with the Punk genre to me, but that is neither here nor there. The backing vocals here and thick and catchy. The title track sees the album slow a little bit with an acoustical opening and some more great backing vocals. Soft and melancholy tones produce a song with some emotional qualities. “One Common Enemy” reverts back to the high octane energy that the band has. With the opening kick drum beats, your foot will begin to tap along. More layered vocals come in at the chorus along with some expletives.

“Sorry State of Affairs” is a short little number chocked full of hooks and a more melancholy sound. “Lizard’s Toungue” is slowed down a bit with a smooth riff and vocals, and again a really nice bass line. The backing vocals help to thicken up the sound a bit. It ends with just the drum line as it fades out. “Hot Nite in Dallas” is another energetic song with a matter-of-fact statement of sorts. The riff gets harder as the song moves along. “Queen for a Day” closes the album. It opens with a bit more bombast in the main riff. A sweet little guitar solo plays well with the hooks here. Overall, this was a fun album to listen to. It’s just no-nonsense Rock ‘N Roll stripped down to the bare elements. I mentioned before that the bass work and backing vocals are probably the best part of the album, and I stand by that statement. The trio puts a lot of energy into their music, and are probably great to see live.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Slasher with a Broken Heart
2. The Disaster
3. Sound of Life Slipping Away
4. Great Man
5. Graces Came with Malice
6. One Common Enemy
7. Sorry State of Affairs
8. Lizard’s Tongue
9. Hot Nite in Dallas
10. Queen for a Day
John Steen
Ulrik Bostedt
Tony Samuelsson
Record Label: The Sign Records


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