Kadavar – Abra Kadavar


Review by Paul Castles

Nuclear Blast

Kadavar have a novelty feel about them: three German guys playing what sounds in places to be some kind of ‘best of the late 60s/early70s prog performers’ compilation. Abra Kadavar is an album that hooks you in from the first uplifting chords on ‘Come Back Life’ and the warm glow merely intensifies once singer Lupus Lindemann enters the fray with his distinctive comforting strained vocal style. Kadavar’s album is one that it is simply impossible not to enjoy, wonderfully intricate and hypnotic riffs with sticks guru Tiger earning his stripes with a pumping beat and bass player Mammut discreetly going about his work in the shadows. Second track ‘Doomsday Machine’ has a Zeppelin style riff that immediately hints at the iconic Zeppelin Top of the Pops intro. Although the Berlin trio invoke memories (for those of us old enough to just about remember!) of flares, big beards and multi-coloured patterned-shirts they are no mere tribute act.

While their inspiration and passion may stem from the flower power generation, Kadavar have added their own modern layer of occultish magic on top. The result is an absolutely mesmerizing nine-track album. ‘Eye of the Storm’ the longest track at around six minutes is a retro rebel with great smashing riffs, screeching vocals and a mesmeric guitar solo that sparkles with energy and vitality. In contrast ‘Black Snake’ is a much slower doomier sound, echoes of Sabbath within, that wraps its way around you and then starts to slowly squeeze like a predatory boa constrictor curled around its prey. Penultimate track ‘Rhythm for Endless Minds’ is a bewitching psychedelic flavoured piece of wizardry that knocks loudly at the door of doom, intermittent stops, pauses, breaks, you’re not quite sure where they’re heading but you sure as hell don’t want to miss out on the journey.

German metal label Nuclear Blast has already recognised the retro-rock boom through the likes of Orchid and Sweden’s Graveyard. Kadavar are ideal stablemates. Abra Kadavar builds on the foundations laid last year with the band’s self-titled debut release. Since recording this album bass player Mammut has bowed out, to be swiftly replaced by their longtime friend Simon Bouteloup and the transition should be seamless enough. Kadavar set out to capture something of their stage presence and power with this album. I have no doubt the Teutonic treasures have succeeded but any doubters should make their way to the Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton in October and prepare to have their doubts crushed.

Kadavar – Abra Kadavar9 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Come Back Life
  2. Doomsday Machine
  3. Eye Of The Storm
  4. Black Snake
  5. Dust
  6. Fire
  7. Liquid Dream
  8. Rhythm For Endless Minds
  9. Abra Kadabra