Sound — 8
A couple of weeks before releasing the album, Graveyard said something about the title of the album having everything to do with the cover, and both of them having everything to do with the sounding of the album. Well, they could not be wrong: "Lights Out" is darker and more melancholic than its predecessor "Hisingen Blues". The first two tracks basically says it. "An Industry Of Murder" is sort of in between psychedelic and doomy and most of its riffs would not sound out of place in a heavy metal album. There's a Sabbath feeling in it, absolutely. The second track, "Slow Motion Countdown", is a beautiful and melancholic piece of blues, and it kinda reminds you of "Uncomfortably Numb", from the previous album. It would just explode if they put one of their vigorous solos at the end, but I'm happy as hell with the ending as it is too.
There are other songs in the same style, like "20/20 Tunnel Vision" and "Hard Time Lovin'". But hey, that doesn't mean, in any way, that they left their good old hard rock side out of the album. Again, they mixed their "two sides" perfectly, the blues with their restless rocking. "Goliath", "The Suits, The Law And The Uniform" and "Seven Seven" represents their riffing, intense drumming and everything you already expect from them. Production wise, I'd say this album is identical to "Hisingen Blues". These guys probably found where they are when it comes to mixing, and again they used analog recording with the intention to give it a more organic and "seventish" sounding. If there's one thing that I'd add to this album is a little more of guitar solos (even though there's a beautiful one closing the album). The band is clearly more contained on this aspect here (probably for the sake of exploring the "atmosphere" of the songs a little more, which is something they talked about in the recording process), but it's nothing that compromises my liking for the songs here, which are beautiful. And you can probably expect the soloing in live performances, since they usually extend some of the songs and pull out great solos on stage.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrical aspect of the album is a little different from their previous works. In this one, they brought up some pretty good critics to greed, consumerism, among other social issues. Examples are "An Industry Of Murder", "Goliath" and "The Suits, The Law And The Uniform". It's almost a drastic change, because here you find lines like "they are trying to sell slavery as a dream to chase/driven by fear, consumer wars", which is a subject that wasn't even remotely approached on previous albums. There's also other themes here, but that are not new to the band, like confusion, blues and love issues, which predominates on the album. When it comes to the singing, Joakim Nilsson is once again a beast.
He's capable of singing powerfully and somehow angrily on the heavier tunes, but also slowly and at a low tone on the bluesy, slower songs, which is something I don't see too much around nowadays, even among the stoner/hard rock scene. Most of the backing vocals here are provided by bassist Rikard Edlund, and he performs a beautiful job at that too. You can always hear his voice behind the main vocals, especially when Nilsson is singing at a low tone of voice. He usually comes in with a more high pitched voice.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, if you're into the "modern" hard rock scene, you probably heard of or listened to these guys already and know what they're into. If not: they come up with everything that used to make beautiful rock music in the 60's and 70's. A mixing of hard rock, psychedelic rock, blues rock and all that stuff probably defines them. So, get ready to find a lot of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer and Cream references, among others. In my honest opinion, the most impressive songs from the album are "Slow Motion Countdown" and "20/20 Tunnel Vision". But I could point any song here as awesome (fanboy much?) to be honest. It's just a can't-go-wrong-with for any fan of the aforementioned bands (or genres). It's really impressive for any fan of those, also, how the production recreated that 70's sounding perfectly. I'd certainly get this album again if it were stolen or lost.