Svartanatt, the Swedish rock band that has been steadily making waves in the retro rock scene, returns with their third studio album, "Last Days on Earth." Following their self-titled debut in 2016 and the sophomore release "Starry Eagle Eyes" in 2018, this latest offering is a testament to the band's growth and evolution. Recorded in Sjöbacka Studios by Martin Borgh and mastered at Grammofon Studios, "Last Days On Earth" comprises 11 tracks of hard-hitting retro rock that continue to build on Svartanatt's solid foundation of '60s and '70s influenced rock.
The journey begins with "Demons in the Night." The song immediately throws you into a time warp with its '70s Hammond organ and '80s AOR chorus. The melodies are infectious, and just when you think you've got it all figured out, a progressive break towards the end of the song shows the band's musical depth and innovation.
As the last notes of "Demons in the Night" fade away, "Mad Stranger" takes the stage. It's straight-up rock reminiscent of bands like The Hellacopters. The track charges forward with unbridled energy, and a powerful guitar solo serves as the perfect finale, leaving you eager for more.
Transitioning seamlessly, "The Crows" masterfully balances influences from bands like Yes, Uriah Heep, and Southern Rock. It's a musical tightrope walk that showcases the band's ability to fuse disparate elements into a captivating sonic fusion.
From there, "Child of the Devil" gallops onto the scene with an Iron Maiden-esque rhythm. Twin guitars, catchy hooks, and a stadium-ready chorus make this track an instant hit.
Taking a moment to breathe, "Keep on Movin" slows the tempo down. It's a song infused with subtle country and West Coast influences, reminiscent of early '70s American rock. The nostalgia in the air is palpable.
"Children of the Sun" follows, transporting you to the power ballads of the '80s. Yet, it's all wrapped in the sound aesthetics of the '70s, creating a unique and immersive experience.
As the album progresses, "I'm Ready" revs up the tempo again. It's a straightforward rock anthem with beautiful harmonies and sensational guitar work. The momentum continues to build.
"Time Is on Your Side" marks a shift towards a more contemplative mood. The song delves into melancholic balladry with a reflective narrative, delivered with melodic grace. It's a moment of introspection.
"Texas Dance" pays homage to The Doors with its Ray Manzarek-inspired organ, but infuses a rockier edge into the mix. The track culminates in a thrilling duel between organ and guitar solos, leaving you on the edge of your seat.
And then, "What You Want" emerges, evolving from blues to straight-up rock. It's a musical journey that culminates in a furious Hammond organ-driven climax. You can't help but be swept away by the intensity.
As the album nears its end, "Where I Belong" takes us full circle. This closing track encapsulates all facets of the band and their influences. It even features a trumpet solo, adding a unique touch to the album's conclusion.
What truly sets "Last Days on Earth" apart is its modern production, avoiding excessive panning and allowing each instrument ample room to shine. All of this is held together by the fantastic vocals of Jani Lehtinen. For fans of Graveyard, Dead Lord, and Horisont, this album is an absolute must-listen.
Svartanatt has not only proven their prowess as musicians but has also demonstrated their ability to incorporate diverse elements into their music while maintaining a cohesive and captivating sound. "Last Days on Earth" is a testament to their evolution and a clear indication that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of retro rock. This album is a sonic journey that will transport you to various eras of rock, all while keeping your feet firmly planted in the present. Don't miss out on this gem from Svartanatt; it's a musical experience you won't want to end.
This record deserves an "Inferno", which is given for a precision in timing and songwriting, a capture of live sound and energy and a perfect artwork. Despite all keyboards on this record you will hear this driving distorted midrange bass which was last heard in 2015.