Greenleaf
Nest of Vipers


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
March 9th, 2012 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Greenleaf find the middle ground between infectious stoner rock tunes and slow-burning psychedelic jams on their most accomplished album to date.

Swedish heavy rock scene has been on a roll for over a decade. Aside from delivering excellent riff-oriented rock, such notable acts as Truckfighters, Lowrider and Dozer managed to come up with their own vision of music that boasts instantly recognizable features which include: dense drumming, heavily distorted bass lines, fuzzed-out guitar riffs and an aptitude for arresting melodies. All these constituents make for an admirably dense desert rock sound that distinctively characterizes so-called Swedish vibe. Borlange-based Greenleaf have always been committed to this style releasing three strong albums over the course of the last decade as well as experiencing numerous line-up changes in the process. Current Greenleaf comprise of three former musicians of Dozer accompanied by bassist Bengt Bäcke and singer Oskar Cedarmalm of Truckfighters fame. Given the fact that Bäcke has engineered plenty of Swedish stoner rock records, everything stays in the family with the quintet basically being a new incarnation of formidable Dozer.

In comparison to bluesy Agents of Ahriman from 2007, Nest of Vipers sounds grittier, punchier and more bombastic somewhat recalling the mix of the last Dozer outing with the open-air feeling of instruments, densely cascading drum beats and massive bass lines. The guitar work is appropriately groovy courtesy of immensely talented Tommi Holappa and Johan Rockner whose riffs range from boisterous to meditative. Holappa's soloing is tailor made for this kind of music striking an ideal balance between punchiness and flamboyance. The top-notch musicianship goes in line with the diverse song craft that captures the group finding the middle ground between direct, hook-driven tunes and slow-burning psychedelic jams.

A multitude of highlights includes infectious “Lilith” which relies on swift transitions making their way to a mellowed-out chorus that revolves around Cedarmalm's splendid vocal harmonies. “Dreamcatcher” proves equally irresistible with its powerful stomping rhythms in the verse leading to a superbly harmonized guitar onslaught in the song's captivating finale. In contrast, “Sunken Ships” interweaves breezy guitar work and powerhouse bass solo with enticing falsetto croons of Lowrider's Peder Bergstrand to startling effect. While these songs might be more instantly memorable, the actual selling point of Nest of Vipers lies with its lengthier brilliantly hypnotic cuts. Remarkably sustained “Tree of Life” enigmatically unravels only to climax in the vortex of rollicking riffs, while constantly evolving “At the Helm” takes its slow-burning guitar work and blends it with retro keys and Cedarmalm's most alluring vocal performance. The title track works as an icing on the cake utilizing unrecognisably vicious crooning of Dozer's Fredrik Nordin into an ambitious, progressive inclined instrumentation.

Even though several songs are devoid of apparent remarkable qualities, the strong points of Nest of Vipers clearly surpass the achievements of most other stoner rock bands working today. The album most definitely showcases Greenleaf at the top of their game serving as an epitome of everything that the greatest Swedish heavy rock has to offer.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You can find out now. The album is streaming here:

http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2012/03/05/greenleafstream/

Digging: Bjork - Vulnicura

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad you like it. I think it's much better. The best tracks are later on the LP.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tree of Life, At the Helm and Nest of Vipers are standout tracks for me. The album gets better with every new spin. I've listened to it about 10 times since Monday.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree that the slow tracks are much better, but still there are some gems among the faster ones I mentioned in the review.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. The closer is epic! I'm sure you'll like faster tracks more in time.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2012


22044 Comments


Great review dude. Album rules, I'll probably end up giving it a higher rating after a few more listens.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a bunch. 3.5 really seems to low. It's worth at least a 4 in my book.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair enough. The only track I don't really care about is The Timeline's History. The first two songs could have been better too. The rest slays hard.

SteelErectedb4you8er
March 9th 2012


2620 Comments


You are a review machine, Greg; good job, once again. I wish I could get the ball rolling on stuff myself.

I really dig this album, but I like Agents of Ahriman and Secret Alphabets better; however, I am going to try and give this more spins.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hi Greg! It's funny how I end up getting what you review more than any other users' reviews. Good review, I need to listen to this though.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Steve:
Yeah. Bump the average rating up man because it feels too low right now. Agents of Ahriman is on par with this. I didn't dig Secret Alphabet so much apart from a couple of songs.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have listened to the first few songs and this is really good so far

SteelErectedb4you8er
March 9th 2012


2620 Comments


The production on Agents sounded better to me than on the new one. However, like I said, I only listened to it once. Secret Alphabets is what got me into these guys; so, you know, it is special to me.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@insomniac15:
Glad you're digging this man. It's not funny that you end up getting what I review the most. It's the only right way. Haha.


insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha yeah, my bad. I'm downloading this right now. You're the only reviewer and Voivod that do stoner, old school hard rock and psychedelic reviews on a regular basis.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Steve:
I don't know dude. The production on Agents lacks the punch imo. The songwriting is really strong though. Perhaps I need to listen to Secret Alphabets more. This is going to be a Swedish stoner rock weekend for me.

SteelErectedb4you8er
March 9th 2012


2620 Comments


Secret Alphabets is pretty fucking awesome, you need to go back and listen to it. I will give the new album more spins. You need throw in the Truckfighters/Firestone Split in your Swedish stoner rock weekend.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@insomniac15:
I do a lot more than that or at least I try. Hell. I even reviewed a soul album once, but generally I deal with noise rock, stoner rock, alt rock, prog rock, prog metal, heavy metal and post-hardcore.


greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Steve:
You got me. I haven't heard this split. I'm listening to Gravity X right now. Awesome stuff!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2012


7489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you're even remotely into stoner rock, you'll like it for sure.



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