Svarte Pan - Nattvandring

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Ant Nest Records
Catalog Number: ANRCD003
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:46:00

This is interesting - a group of Swedish musicians emulating American cultural icons, yet introducing elements that make it all their own. Let me explain:

Svarte Pan's logo is a creature that looks for all the world like a desert southwestern Kokopelli (a prehistoric deity that appears frequently in rock art, common to the south western United States deserts and mountains.) Kokopelli is practically synonymous with several Pueblo Indian areas in New Mexico - and very American. And the music? Nattvandring is pure hard-edged, well played, very old-fashioned, guitar-led rawk - foot-tapping, hard-edged, driving stuff that dips a toe tentatively into today's not-so-progressive stoner-rock genre and sinks a foot into southern blues rock. Again, all very American.

Yet this Swedish foursome stamp their own style onto the music by singing the whole thing in their native tongue - with not a word of English. So if you aren't a Swede and you don't have a babel fish in your ear, ignore the lyrics and just enjoy the vibe. And don't expect much help from the CD's booklet - that also requires translation. Svarte Pan's live shows must be a blast. You wouldn't understand a word, but with this music, believe me - you wouldn't care. It is rebellious, defiant, and recalls the days of protest music and free love and psychedelic rock for the sake of rock! Gutsy guitar work, multi-part male choruses, aggressive drumming, and none of them namby pamby keyboard thangs - the most adventurous this music gets is an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. (Hey - it's the '60s they're emulating - so those are allowed!) Don't expect a huge amount of sophistication or originality. Do expect a solid slab of granite-hard drum-heavy rock with pleasing riffs, upbeat singing, and nice guitar flourishes.

Track 5 "Gravsång" is an acoustic, folksy piece with a different appeal - listen for the choral vocals backing up the soft acoustic guitar and soft lead guitar mix. It's out of step with the rest of the album, and the only thing wrong with it is its brief 2-minute duration. Longer woulda been nicer. Listen also to the guitar work in "Sov Gott" and tell me your mind is still in the present. This stuff forces you into a time capsule. Eight short tracks, and two long ones. In fact, between them, "Dårarnas Palats" and "Drömmar" comprise one third of the album between them, and are the highlights because of their long instrumental sections, and the fact that they each develop of their respective themes through shifts and changes and moderately complex arrangements, "Dårarnas Palats" develops a nice groove and you can easily lose yourself in its head-bobbing body-rockin easy-flowing bluesy atmosphere.

So with the '60s music style, the guitar/drum-led mix, the nice solos that aren't really special but have a head nodding appeal, and sadly, the very retro production quality; it seems that America's 1960s are alive and well and living in Sweden in the mid-2000s.

Now will someone tell me what the hell desert-bound Kokopelli is douing up in the Scandinavian snows? That boy's gonna catch a death of a cold!

[The band dissolved in 2007 -ed.]

Det Var En Man / Min V?n / Vill Ha / Balladen Om Lillebror / Gravs?ng / Starkare / M?ss Och M?nniskor / D?rarnas Palats / Sov Gott / Dr?mmar

Conny Andersson - guitar
Pelle Engvall - drums
Björn Holmdén - lead vocals, harmonica
Christian ?deLuxe? Norefalk - bass

Sov Gott (2002)
Nattvandring (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin SE

Added: March 6th 2005
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website:
Hits: 2749
Language: english


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