Just good ol’ pure rock
Ten tracks that run for three to four minutes each is more than enough to leave a great impression of what Åskväder are about. They’re a power trio and their debut album is full of good ol’ pure rock. Is there a bit of power pop in there? Yes, but it’s minimal and is counterbalanced nicely with bits of blues, superb guitar solos, solid bass, pounding drums and profound lyrics.
The band was formed in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017 by Jon Solheim (vocals, drums), Martin Olsson (guitar, vocals) and Staffan Persson (bass).
The record kicks off with Thunderstorm; the English translation for the Swedish ‘Åskväder’. This could be interpreted as the band talking to itself, reminding themselves who they are. As the chorus says: “In the pitch black night / You’re a thunderstorm / You light the path and lead the way / You broke the skies and will not reform / Don’t hear them out, They’ve had their say.”
Cutting Corners follows a similar thread, facing the internal demons head on. Give In slows it all down with deep romantic lyrics – a sweet and beautiful bluesy song. The lovely mellow rhythm invites you on a trip on a sugar cloud. The first touchy guitar solo would melt even the strongest steel, followed later by another stunning guitar solo to finish the tune. Along the track, Persson’s bass is reminiscent of The Allman Brothers Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The album reaches its peak with Bit My Lip, a song that’s got it all – fat galloping bass, drums on point, epic guitar riffs and a brief but rocking solo.
Devil’s Feast is contrasted with the subsequent track Elysium, which means ‘god is my salvation’ in biblical Hebrew. Some metal bands see god as the enemy and worship satan, but it seems that Åskväder plays on God’s side. To complete the album, Defeat and The Miser follow the familiar recipe: good tunes, stories about overpowering your fears and the challenges ahead.
A solid debut from a band with heaps of imagination and pure rock and roll.
FFO: The Hellacopters, Turbonegro, Graveyard
Åskväder is out now via The Sign Records.