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Graveyard’s bassist heads to rehab

Graveyard, that beautiful Swedish concoction of blues, metal and fuzzy guitar distortion, have decided to give their bandmate, bassist Rikard Edlund, the time he needs to get clean from addiction. The group just posted the statement below on their Facebook page
Rikard Edlund of Graveyard. Photo by M. Spiro
I saw Graveyard here in Baltimore back in January at Golden West Cafe. It was among the best shows I have seen this year. You can read a little about that show here
Graveyard also just released a new album, Lights Out, and as you will read, they fully intend to tour in support of their record with a temporary replacement for Edlund. I hope Rikard gets the help he needs so he can get back to making music. I love Graveyard a lot so I wish him and the band the best as they power through this tough time. What follows is the Graveyard statement on this matter.

It’s not only rock ā€˜nā€™ roll.

Sometimes in life you have to make decisions that are neither simple or easy to make. Graveyard have – after a time filled with difficulties and a search for solutions – been forced to make such a decision. Due to personal problems with addiction, it has come to the point where Rikard, to get the proper help, will have to take a break from touring with the band. Rikard is without a doubt still a member of Graveyard, but as things are at the moment it just doesn’t work and something has to be done. The other members give Rikard their full support and the time off needed to try to beat this. 

How this will affect the band – it is agreed upon by all four members that the show will go on and to do so the band will tour with a stand in bass player. This has been a far from easy decision to make and the timing isn’t the best. But Graveyard as a band has it’s mind set on being around for a long time to come. And looking at it from that perspective and Rikard’s personal health this is the only option. 

This is all the band have got to say about this somewhat personal matter and we’ll give the final words to Rikard himself:
“After living the hard life for most of my life. It has come to the point that I have to take a break from playing the music that I love.’


The Flying Eyes, Night Beats, Psychic Ills at Golden West Cafe

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Last night, Golden West Cafe in Baltimore, Maryland, featured a trio of bands playing psychedelic, garage rock and soul.

Opening up was Baltimore’s The Flying Eyes. Sounding a little like a cross between The Doors, Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Cheer, this band is surfing that “new wave of psychedelia” yet with their own original twists. I picked up a vinyl copy of their newest recording Do So Wrong and will review it in the near future.

Reminiscent of The Animals and early Beatles, Night Beats got a little group of folks dancing. Definitely check out this Seattle trio. They were a ton of fun.

Lastly, Psychic Ills set the strobe lights to stun and lit some incense for their set. They were the slowest tempo group of the bunch and set almost a doomy vibe. I have never seen so many effects pedals in use by a keyboardist.

Alcest brings French, blackened shoegaze to Baltimore’s Golden West Cafe

Tonight at Golden West Cafe, I will be seeing the amazing and awe inspiring band from France–Alcest. I had the pleasure of seeing this group open for Enslaved last September at Mr. Smalls in Pittsburgh.

Alcest’s sound is sparse and emotive. Their roots are in black metal but their work has transcended that into the realm of folk, shoegaze, alternative and I don’t know what all. I don’t like to classify it, though I am sure someone will want to. It is extreme music, clearly defined by black metal, but also refined by a strong sense of melody. Sometimes the vocals are clear and haunting, sometimes they are raspy and shrill. Either way, the music evokes feelings of loss, darkness, despair but with some hope and longing thrown in. Their wall of sound surrounds and cradles you in a dreamlike world that is at once comforting and disturbing.

The primary members of Alcest are Neige on guitars/bass, synths and vocals and Winterhalter on drums, however I believe they will have some touring members. All the songs are in French, so unless you are fluent don’t worry about the lyrics.

Supporting Alcest on this tour is Deafheaven a more traditional sounding black metal band from San Francisco. Expect tremelo guitar picking, blast beat drumming and shrill vocals. There is a nod to Burzum with their sound, but I like Deafheaven a little better because I find the melodies more congruent and the songs more carefully constructed. They have almost an indie rock song structure but the arresting vocals keep it clearly in the black metal genre. Listen to Deafheaven here.

The local opener for this show is Arbouretum, a band I saw first earlier this month. They’ve been around the Baltimore area for a long time and have a strong following both nationally and internationally. Arbouretum is not a metal band but more like a doomy, psychedelic trip that attracts a crowd that wishes they could see the Grateful Dead.  Having seen the Grateful Dead many times, I can attest to this attraction but say that Arbouretum is far and away a much more musically interesting band. Sure you could sway back and forth and just zone out if you wanted to, but the music is not going to let you rest for long and Dave Heumann’s voice will call you back to reality. You can hear a very new song right here. Imagine Gordon Lightfoot with some fuzzed out guitars and a pounding backbeat. In mid April, Arbouretum embarks on a five week European tour. See them now.

UPDATE: Photos from the show and afterwards.

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