Album Review: Kadavar – Rough Times

By Ryan Falla

Esteemed German rock trio Kadavar brings us another fascinating musical package with their new album ‘Rough Times’. Kadavar has never been a band to put themselves in a musical hole. Constant reinvention and experimentation with writing techniques keeps this band on top, and their newest release encapsulates the idea that Kadavar exists to avoid musical stagnation.

Kadavar – Rough Times

The intro to the record is the title track, which jumps out as rather eclectic and fascinating. Once the album gets settled, a strong sense of identity is created with the pounding riffage and laid-back grooves. It holds tightly onto your interest as it swims through multiple styles of “Kadavar”. There’s a lot of soft atmospheric song-crafting present within this record, almost like a metal version of the Beatles.

Throughout the record you’ll hit on some standard Kadavar tunes, not standard metal but standard “Kadavar”. It’s strange, the way they build a nearly unique sense of identity and musical presence throughout ‘Rough Times’. The record opens with some fascinatingly strange riffage and pushes through multiple tracks with piercing grooves.

Kadavar does a lot of musical exploration within this album, the track ‘Vampires’ kicks in with a drum/synth opening that shifts the landscape of ‘Rough Times’ ever so slightly into a territory that transcends metal and rock. Kadavar isn’t flipping the genre on its head and changing the game, but they are expanding boundaries and creating diverse formulas. In a way, that is more important than flipping a genre on its head since it encourages expansion of thought and musical ingenuity.

A lot of the meat of ‘Rough Times’ is entrenched within Kadavar’s self-created standard for what rock and metal should be. However, pocketed here and there within the album are some engagingly expansive tracks. ‘The Lost Child’ is a discomforting and genius mixture of Pink Floyd with Kadavar’s sense of dark wonder. The last third of the record is packed with these “experimental” tracks, which influences a new sense of life into the album as it switches gears in a big way.

‘Rough Times’ is a journey from groove-centric rock to music borne out of unique sentimentalities, a journey very much worth your time from start to finish.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date: September 29th 2017

Track Listing:
01. Rough Times (3:38)
02. Into The Wormehole (4:18)
03. Skeleton Blues (4:24)
04. Die Baby Die (4:18)
05. Vampires (4:49)
06. Tribulation Nation (5:04)
07. Words Of Evil (3:37)
08. The Lost Child (5:52)
09. You Found The Best in Me (4:58)
10. A L’Ombre Du Temps (3:57)

Total Duration: 44:55

Kadavar links: website | facebook | twitter | instagram