Rammstein prove time and again that a band singing in their native tongue, rather than English, does not hinder the listener’s enjoyment. If anything, hearing Rammstein sing in English might actually mean that the songs lose a bit of their charm, or menace, whichever way you look at them. Swedish groove monsters Oblivious go with their mother tongue on latest album ‘När Isarna Sjunger’ (translated as ‘When The Ice Is Singing’), whereas previous output has largely been sung in English. Don’t let the unfamiliarity of the language put you off though, as the language of groove-laden classic rock ‘n’ roll is universal! Perseverance brings its rewards in the guise of a warm fuzzy feeling, like you’ve consumed a metric shit-tonne of Ready Brek.
Opening track, ‘Det Brinner I Fjärran’, is chock-full of delicious old-school riffing from guitarist Böris, so much so that you are indeed oblivious to the fact that vocalist Isak is singing in Swedish. If, however, you want to compare two versions, then there is an English version of the same track on the ‘A Storm In The Distance’ EP, which was released late last year. When the gang vocals signal the beginning of ‘Fästet’ and are quickly followed by a machine gun drum sound, then no jots are cared for if it is in Swedish or English, as the groove is staggering. The guitars are sharp throughout the album, with sizzling lead work on display everywhere, but on the title track, it’s the sublime bass work that takes the plaudits. Bassist Andy flexes his muscles and keeps it pretty low key, but make no mistake, he’s the glue holding it together. ‘Låt Stenarna Rulla’ is roughly translated as ‘Let The Rocks Roll’, and rock and roll it indeed does. The lovely drum sound has a real swing to it, and the vocal harmonies are nailed on. Pour these over some Thin Lizzy-esque guitar melodies, and you have a memorable few minutes. ‘Fler än Vad Ni Tror’ is all about the primal drums from Jocke. Damn, he hits the skins with some power! After a few run throughs of the album, I’d have to say that this is my favourite, followed by ‘Sjumilakliv’, which features a rather tasty line in keyboards. Mind you, closing track ‘Hitta Hem’ gives them a close run to the finish line. Softer and slower than the other tracks, it has a gorgeous Skynyrd vibe floating around it that gets better with each airing.
‘När Isarna Sjunger’ has something for every fan of classic rock. Think outside of the box, and check this sucker out.