Published Aug 19, 2015The feeling one gets from listening to Kadavar could be likened to that of dining at an Italian restaurant: it might satisfy your craving for pasta, but given the number of Italian joints out there, you're likely to have had better elsewhere. And therein lies the problem with Berlin, the German outfit's third full-length offering.
It's not that the album doesn't deliver the type of retro-rock boogie it promises — the groovy, '70s style riffs in opener "Lord of the Sky" make quick work of letting you know — and it's certainly not for a lack of memorable moments, either. The trouble comes with the realization that most of the album's greatest sentiments are mere echoes of that which have come before. The track "Spanish Wild Rose," for example, radiates with a vibe that might best be described as Black Sabbath-by-way-of-Witchcraft, and the bridge on "Filthy Illusion" takes a quick left turn into head bobbing territory with a guitar riff that could have easily been plucked from Ghost's catalogue. Ironically, the most original sounding material comes by way of a cover: a bonus track that gives Nico's "Reich der Träume" a moody, '80s facelift while boasting one of the best psyched-out guitar solos on the record.
Kadavar attempt to create something that is both memorable and cool here, but despite all its hooks and melodies, Berlin ultimately falls short. In a sea of bands flying the retro-rock flag, it just doesn't have barbs strong enough to reel listeners in completely. (Nuclear Blast)