The Gardnerz, a Swedish doom metal outfit presents their sophomore offering “It All Fades”. Once you get over the name which takes about 30 seconds into their opening track, these boys have captured a unique sound. Loyal to their doom label, yet not afraid to incorporate unique almost jazz style interludes at various points along the way. This lands somewhere between an EP and LP in terms of length and it a great journey down the doom metal lane. The cover art is some of the best I have seen this year and captures the dark atmosphere of the music admirably.
Lets deal quickly with the one low point on the album which is the Darkthrone cover ‘Transilvanian Hunger’. Covering a legend like Darkthrone is a tough nut to crack anyway but this cover just didn’t resonate with me. I personally didn’t care for the slowed down melodic approach taken. It didn’t match my expectations and no amount of spins of that song seemed to have altered my thinking, its a swing and a miss.
Now, as for the other five tracks on the release, they are all solid creative doom metal. ‘A Horrible Disease’ is a great example of the some of the creativity put forth by the Swedes. It combines some true guttural vocals over towering riffs and beats. Added in for good measure, is a great jazz influenced type interlude, that really meshes up nicely with the overall feel to track. The title track as well has some real marching riffs and beats right up front. Added into the desperate growls, were some brutally incorporated jazz flair its really adds up to a deep and dark song. Don’t misunderstand me, you will not hear any Wes Montgomery or Pat Metheny jazz but its rather the influence and groove feeling you are left with. It’s that hint that makes it work so well in the tracks.
All in all, these is a creative offering in the doom metal vein. The large heavy riffs and beats are all here with some very nice added interludes. The vocals are desperate dark and pure visceral in nature just as you want for a darker release such as this. It took a couple of spins for this to really sink in but from the point where it dropped it roots and hit the chord its been playing throughout my day. This will not be removed from my player for quite a long time. Give this one a chance, just fast forward over the Darkthrone cover, and enjoy the darkness created by The Gardnerz.