From Sweden comes Skraeckoedlan and their latest release on Transubstans Records Äppelträdet. The name of the band directly translates to 'horror lizard', and one look at the pretty neat album cover you easily see where these guys are coming from. Their brand of sludge, stoner, and classic hard rock can be heard from the opening moments of "Världarnas Fall", with clear influences of Mastodon and The Sword heard in their use of rumbling guitar riffs and multi-layered vocals.
With vocals sung in both Swedish and English, parts of Äppelträdet might be kind of hard to follow for some, but there's no denying the power of the 'riff', which is the real reason to check this CD out. Henrik Gruttner & Robert Lamu have put together some mammoth riffs here, none the more monstrous than on the instrumental title track, as the two, along with bassist Tim Angstrom, really churn out some serious bottom end. "Haven" almost has a Danzig feel to it, while I was reminded of classic Alice in Chains on the dark "Doedaroedlan". Probably the most fun piece here is "Cactus", a bizarre psychedelic and doomy romp that also has plenty of groove.
Äppelträdet ultimately is a fun listening experience, though I'm sure due to the Swedish vocals on many of these songs will limit it's appeal somewhat. If you like the retro movement coming out of that country, you'll want to investigate this one.
01. Världarnas Fall