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Lykantropi - Tales to be Told Award winner

Tales to be Told
by Dani Bandolier at 25 December 2020, 2:40 AM

Occult Psychedelic 70’s vibe music group LYKANTROPI (2013) hails from the lovely city of Karlstad on the north shore of Lake Vänern in the land of the Northern Lights, Sweden. The band’s new release “Tales to be Told” is a masterpiece vibing on FLEETWOOD MAC, JETHRO TULL and COVEN and dig it mates, they sing in English and Svenska (Swedish) with equally potent force. LYKANTROPI has two full length discs cut within the last 4 years – their rock’n’roll rouged debut called ‘Lykantropi’ released in 2017 and “Spirituosa” from 2019, both of which featured songs previously written by Martin Östlund over many years. “Tales to be Told” is a righteous offering containing current vintage material mostly written as a band.

Let me just get this out of the way: Lead vocalist My Shaolin is a divine Svenska forest nymph that sounds like Stevie Nicks, Chrissie MacVie and Johnette Napolitano, all contained in one sonant spirit. Rounding out the voices are principal music composer Martin Östlund and flautist Ia Öberg, who throws down into vocal harmonies à la the ‘MAC.  Close your eyes before it’s too late‘Coming Your Way’ wheels in on a lilting flute lick – I said flute lick mates – that belies a powerful octave staggering guitar line which in a different band would be a heavy metal cliché but hear me now and believe me later, this is a different band with bottomless cool that can lay you down in the tall grass and do their best renaissance rock stuff. Flute leitmotivs carry-on with ‘Mother of Envy’ then segues into the beautiful ‘Kom ta mig ut’, one of the lead singles from “Tales to be Told” that the band shot a video for. Check it out; the dark gut-punch witches spell climax surprised me.

Dilating melodic verses dipped in honey and flowered by jazzy guitar riffs with a chorus hook that lands you hard like a spent Minke, ‘Axis of Margaret’ is a very personal song featuring lyrics written about the passing of bassist Tomas Eriksson’s mother. Tomas remarks of the song, “It is to some extent about when I found my mother dead and how surreal it was. It is about seeing how the person who once was your security merely becoming a shell and losing its soul. It is partly about the intense grieving, but also about the sorrow that she actually disappeared 20 years earlier when my father passed away. Her grief devoured her, it took away her meaning and made her an alcoholic in denial. Her name was Margareta and she was the shoulder of the family.” Man, that is one heartbreaking and supremely heavy recollection…How many roads to release the pain‘Life on Hold’ has to be a pandemic anthem, maybe the pandemic anthem of this, the year of Our Lord Coronavirus 2020 .

Mates, I Doth Proclaim “Tales to be Told” a grooving modern classic. If you find after 100 roundy-rounds on the turntable that you fancy more from LYKANTROPI, then check out their cracking previous releases. Now a question – how would I rate "Tales to be Told” to FLEETWOOD MAC’s “Rumours” and is that a fair comparison? Short answer: “Tales to be Told” more than stands up tall. Pop super classic “Rumours” was buttressed with the formidable FLEETWOOD MAC musical and songwriting talent, experience and music label industry muscle which propelled their album to the highest summits of rock band music success. “Tales to be Told” progresses from Martin Östlund’s considerably talented and mostly solo writing to incorporate ideas and writing from other band members and while I cannot hazard a guess as to the breadth or depth of these contributions, the proof is in the blodpudding. “Tales to be Told” is super intoxicating, a charming proper pop music release blushing with occult folk shades to make it even more delicious – and wicked. Add in that the songs are sung in both Svenska and English and majik takes its hold: The King’s English is the idiom of rock and roll, but written in Swedish and translated to English these songs take a stoned immaculate flight in a totally daring and unexpected way.

For example, ‘Kom ta mig ut’ finishes the last half of the song in Swedish. Swedes have incredible education of the English language; I routinely meet with Swedes that speak English better than I do (me, a lowly subject of the Crown) and this is tribute to their education system and national character. The English lyrics on “Tales to be Told” levitate with melodies soaring for the perimeter, taking us ever-higher and transcendent, attaining agency and perpetual impulse. Oh, and did I tell you I love the restrained final mix that nobody seems to pull off anymore? … My, if you would like to bath in warm lustral waters from ancient waterfalls secreted in the lands of Mother Fuzz and have dinner at Ardbeg Embassy med mig, please contact me at Metal Temple … 1000 stars cannot be wrong -  jag lovar dig min kärlek ¡!… Peace and Rock Out ¡!

Dani Bandolier’s Spotify list:

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Coming Your Way
2. Tales to Be Told
3. Mother of Envy
4. Kom ta mig ut
5. Spell On Me
6. Axis of Margaret
7. Life on Hold
8. Världen går vidare
My Shaolin - Vocals
Martin Östlund - Vocals & Guitar
Tomas Eriksson - Bass
Elias Håkansson - Guitar
Ola Rui Nygard - Drums
Ia Öberg - Flute
Record Label: Despotz Records


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Edited 17 January 2021

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