Dead Man - Euphoria
Meteor City
Stoner Psychedelic Rock
11 songs (50'00")
Release year: 2008
Meteor City
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Swedish Dead Man offer a trip on the Time Machine without actually needing to invent one. A music Time Machine this is. 60s psychedelia, 70s space rock are unearthed, sprinkled with a very slight folk touch, and subsequently modernized with complex jazzy runs and exquisite production where every guitar layer can be heard. While in high school we had two camps of music fans who never got along. One – to which I pledged eternal allegiance – was all about NWOBHM, the sounds of 80s Priest and Iron Maiden, the other, which mostly contained the upperclassmen, – the one we called soft rock hippies – never seemed to graduate past the before In Rock Deep Purple. All the years gone by, me growing wiser now, I could look back and see how ridiculous the argument has been, the mighty Priest themselves starting with the psychedelic rock, long haired, harmonica touting Rob Halford dressed in butterfly shirt and wearing high platforms.

Every music has its season and for Euphoria the perfect time would be when the dog days of summer have subsided and cold days of autumn forecasting long grim winter months are still far away. The closing trilogy of A Touch of Salt, title track and July embody this spirit, airy and bright, better than anything, the title track infusing almost a country tremoloed feel into this cheery rock with the use of mandolin. The folk touch and the use of flute and violin do bring a dash of sadness into Dead Man layered melody as outstanding Footsteps showcases. But most of the rocking songs on the album are about being upbeat (High or Low) or peacefully pastoral (I Must Be Blind). The clean, distortion free sounds and weepy, sometimes vibrato, vocals of the main man Kristoffer Sjodahl (although everybody seems to be singing here) clearly invoke another Swedish minstrel Daniel Brennare with Lake of Tears on Forever Autumn. The mighty Opeth also has been plunging neck deep into this sound to a wide critical acclaim, perhaps more noticeable than Dead Man would ever be able to garner.

The band does branch out beyond simply feel-good soft stoner feel. The opener Today has a trace of Latin emotions and flair in its percussion. Light Vast Corridors has an ominous pressing guitar feel and synth bleeps, reminiscent of what Lord Weird Slough Feg used for inspiration on Traveller. Dual epic The Wheel and Rest in Peace range from the ebbing guitars-through-the-squawk-box psychedelia to complex convoluted percussion filled jazz.

As far away from metal as they can possibly be, Dead Man is a positive healer for frayed nerves done completely in the embrace-thy-neighbor feel. Something many of us can use these days.

Killing Songs :
Footsteps, The Wheel
Alex quoted 78 / 100
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