Has it been such a long time since I reviewed a Swedish band? Definitely not and yet here I am again with another band from the land of the very frozen north, SKÅNSKA MORD. Probably you might wonder afterwards what the hell does this name mean? For those that are not acquainted with Sweden, "Skåne" is a “state” in its very south part mostly famous for their very difficult dialect of Swedish; and "mord" is murder so it should mean murders in the land of Skåne. But while it really means that it is also the name of an 80s Swedish TV series about famous murders that happened in Sweden a long time ago. So now that the name is solved let’s see who are eventually SKÅNSKA MORD and what are they doing? Well they play ballsy stoner rock with a South American flavor into it and “Paths to Charon” is their sophomore full length album following “The Last Supper”.
Including a total of nine songs and going on for approximately 45 minutes, “Paths To Charon” is a record of stoner rock at its finest. In the first song, “Dark Caves Of Our Mind”, the band is unleashing a full scale instrument attack. Drums beating mercilessly, an Iommi-like lead in the guitar accompanied by harmonica and a bass bombing every drum beat with killer precision lead into the amazing vocals of Janne Bengtsson. A mix of BLACK SABBATHesque and bluesy references is what would describe best the song. While not the whole record goes like that, songs like “Lord Of Space And Time”, “Alien Encounter” and “Rising” are more or less on the same motive of classy stoner rock (I could almost say hard rock but oh well it’s at the same direction and tags are really crappy sometimes to describe that things, you let the music talk). Songs like “Addicts” or“A Black Day”, show the Bluesier side of the band taking a slow paced tempo and binding together gigantic riffs and female vocals. “The Flood” gets an even southern American attitude with the vibrating harmonica and gives a really vintage attitude. “Laggasen” is showing even some DEEP PURPLE and RORY GALLAGHER flavor and the absence of vocals comes by unnoticed (so yes it is instrumental).
There is actually nothing weird or bad to spot about the record, its production or anything. Everything is nicely implemented, the production is highly professional, the band is giving an outstanding performance, additions of Hammond and harmonica give a different flavor to the songs. But if you ask me what I liked most from the record I would say Janne Bengtsson’s voice as it makes the songs so bigger and better. So all seems good. The only thing that degraded through time is my enthusiasm for the songs. As I had this for a long time to review and I was listening to it while trying to finish the review that took me almost a month (hmmmm …) I eventually got bored of some parts of the songs, so I think they could improve on this part. So to conclude this review, after setting up my mind, I have to say that SKÅNSKA MORD have released a great release that would be highly appreciated for the fans of the kind. Playing a mix of old school stoner and hard rock with great dedication and passion, they have crafted a vintage album that can be the infrastructure on which they will build a great career. Go check em!
1. Dark Caves Of Our Mind 2. Addicts 3. A Black Day 4. Lord Of Space And Time 5. The Flood 6. Laggåsen 7. The Ambassadeur 8. Alien Encounter 9. Rising
Janne Bengtsson- Vocals & Harmonica Patrik Bergin- Guitar Peter Englund- Guitar & Backing Vocals Patric Carlsson- Bass Thomas Jonsson- Drums & Percussion