Graveyard – Peace album review

Gothenburg’s celebrated retro-rockers Graveyard come back swinging with Peace

Graveyard Peace album cover

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1. It Ain't Over Yet
2. Cold Love
3. See The Day
4. Please Don't
5. The Fox
6. Walk On
7. Del Manic
8. Bird Of Paradise
9. A Sign Of Peace
10. Low (I Wouldn't Mind)

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Sweden’s crown princes of swinging retro cool announced their split in September 2016, one year after releasing their quirky, soul-infused fourth album, Innocence & Decadence. The news came as quite a surprise, as this hotly touted quartet’s sole raison d’être always seemed to be a simple, overriding passion for playing honest, righteous, gut-level rock’n’roll. They were still bringing new twists and influences to bear on their sound, while their fanbase was continuing to grow thanks to many high-profile support slots, festivals and headline tours. Only a scanty handful of naive souls could have imagined that Graveyard were seriously gone for good, but even fewer imagined that this dissolution would barely last four months – not so much a hiatus, more a mini-break, the band coming across as a little bit histrionic and indecisive. Whatever their reasons – the drummer’s changed, if anyone was likely to notice – it’s lent an additional sense of urgency and jubilation to this comeback LP’s aptly titled shit-kicking opener, It Ain’t Over Yet, instantly impressing with an improved production that emphasises directness, looseness, warmth and humanity. And although the heavier numbers like Cold Love, Please Don’t and Walk On have a strutting-cock swagger that’s plugged straight into the rarefied magic of early 70s hard rock heroism, Graveyard are equally adept at the moments of hushed vulnerability. The mellow atmospheres of more sensitive cuts like the Jeff Buckley-ish See The Day, the brooding, nocturnal Del Manic, The Fox’s earthy flirtation with Nirvana’s About A Girl and the emotive singer-songwriter shades of Bird Of Paradise are so finely wrought you can’t help hoping that one day Graveyard apply themselves to delivering their Led Zep III – although, hopefully, not after any more premature, fleeting disbandments. 

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.