Monday 19 November 2018

Greenleaf - Hear The Rivers (Album Review)

Release date: November 09th 2018. Label: Napalm Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Hear The Rivers – Tracklisting

1.Let It Out! 04:46
2.Sweet Is The Sound 04:07
3.A Point Of A Secret 04:36
4.Good Ol´Goat 03:15
5.The Rumble And The Weight 06:43
6.We Are The Pawns 04:30
7.Oh My Bones 02:58
8.In The Caverns Below 04:12
9.High Fever 03:02
10.The Rivers Lullaby 08:01


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


Greetings All,

Being a music fan can be an incredibly fulfilling and frustrating endeavour. Personally, I am pretty consistently amazed by the amazing array of bands that can avoid my heavy duty, long range musical radar. I believe it was earlier this year that I found myself becoming familiarized with the awesome Black Rainbows, and I was completely dumbfounded as to how I had never heard of them before their newest record. Well, lo and behold, I have once again found myself standing in the dark with the equally amazing Greenleaf. 

The band started out as a side project for Dozer guitarist Tommi Holappa back in 2000 and these guys have just released their 7th full length. After 20 years it is safe to say Greenleaf is no longer a side project. Nor should it be. Hear the Rivers is an amazing slab of fuzzed out garage/psych rock by this Swedish quartet. The band shares a similar sound and vibe to their Euro brethren Graveyard and Kadavar, while also pulling some notes from desert rock icons Kyuss and Texas blues rock masters ZZ Top. Everything about the record rings resonates with the heart and soul of any fan of rock n roll. It is masterfully played, excellently recorded and delivers in every way shape and form.

To the songs..

From the opening salvoes of the amazing Let it Out! You know Greenleaf is bringing it. Fuzzed out riffage and driving drums carry this classic rock tune. Sweet is the Sound brings a serious groove that is reminiscent of times of early Queens of the Stone Age. The QOTSA vibe continues on my personal favorite track from the record. A Point of a Secret has a slinky but powerful feel and delivers an amazing chorus that you will be singing to yourself for weeks to come. 

A big, raucous riff brings in the stomp of Good Ol’ Goat, a straight ahead rocker that jams. While the band touches on darker subject matter throughout the record, their ability to sugar coat it with hooks and melodies makes the darkness a little bit brighter. However, the next two tracks bring a one-two punch of no frills heaviness, The Rumble and the Weight is a big heavy rock song and We are the Pawns, while also bringing the heavy, has a bit of a slower tempo and a more ominous feel. 

Oh My Bones circles back to the more straightforward retro rock feel and continues the same vibe into the awesome, In the Caverns Below. A fuzzed out homage to 60’s rock. The band bring the high octane, rock n rolla feel with High Fever before closing out with 8+ minute epic closing track, The Rivers Lullaby.

With Hear the Rivers, Greenleaf have given us the record that all wish The Sword or Queens of the Stone Age could, or should be delivering. But there is no point in wishing on a pipe dream or pining for what could have. Greenleaf have delivered the goods in spades with their newest opus. Everyone should do themselves a favor and track this record down and support the hell out of these guys. We can’t let a band this good become a side project again. Dig on This!

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Hear The Rivers is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Napalm Records.