Monday 1 February 2016

Greenleaf - Rise Above The Meadow (Album Review)

Release date: February 26th 2016. Label: Napalm Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Rise Above The Meadow – Tracklisting

1. A Million Fireflies
2. Funeral Pyre
3. Howl
4. Golden Throne
5. Carry Out The Ribbons
6. Levitate And Bow (Pt. 1 & 2)
7. You’re Gonna Be My Ruin
8. Tyrants Tongue
9. Pilgrims
10. High And Low (Bonus Track)

Band Members:

Tommi Holappa - Guitar
Sebastian Olsson - Drums
Hans Fröhlich - Bass
Arvid Jonsson - Vocals


Swedish stoner rockers Greenleaf have been making waves in their respective field of music since their initial rumblings back in the year 2000. Having formed as an offshoot of brilliant Swedish stoner bands Dozer, Lowrider and Demon Cleaner it was of no surprise that Greenleaf were just as good at creating those hazy and heavy riffs.

Fast forward 16 years and while some members of the band have changed (Arvid Jonsson is the Greenleaf vocalist for this release, his second album for the band) the sound has not and the hazy and heavy riffs that the sound is built on is still there and sounds all the better for it.

So, yes the riffs are still all present and correct obviously but with the addition of Jonsson as vocalist, following 2014s Trails & Passes album, the band have morphed even more than their previous album into a cross between their stoner roots and an almost classic rock orientated sound and this works very well in a Kyuss meets a heavier Deep Purple way with the focus on the hugely entertaining riffs at the forefront.

A Million Fireflies, the opening track on Rise Above The Meadows sets things up nicely with its high octane and feel-good vibe (check out the superb video for the song) and shows that the band haven't lost their knack for a catchy song, pummelling riffs and all.

The rest of the album is just as good as this frenzied opening , cranking up the riffs throughout, with tracks like the magnificently anthemic mid-paced swagger of Howl, the sprawling epic rock of Levitate And Bow (Pt 1 & 2), the riff-led boogie of Golden Throne (which is reminiscent of Clutch who the band recently supported on tour, a bill made in riff heaven if ever there was one,) the titanic riffage of You're Gonna Be My Ruin and the bruising Tyrants Tongue all highlights on this delight of an album, an album that begs to be listened to as soon as the last notes ring out at the end of the album.

Fans of the band will already know what to expect and will be eagerly anticipating their latest fix of prime Swedish stoner rock and they will delighted with what they hear and for the uninitiated (and they need to get familiar with the band quickly) a plethora of riffs and good times awaits them, this is good time riff fuelled rock and long may the band continue doing this.

Words by Gavin Brown


Thanks to Mona at Napalm Records PR for the promo. Rise Above The Meadow will be released on CD/DD/Vinyl from Napalm Records on Feb 26th 2016.