Lykantropi, Tales To Be Told review (Despotz Records 2020)

Swedish rock band Lykantropi emerge from the woods with a new album, Tales To Be Told, building on the strength of their previous releases and reaching new clearings.

The music is guitar driven where the guitar is mostly clear toned with very little distortion (and the occasional phase shift). Flute is also center stage in the compositions but not in a Jethro Tull kind of way. It is more like the early Atlanta Rhythm Section music if it was folked-up a little bit and the songs were about tales of the distant past, love, and occult happenings.

The band is Martin Östlund (vocals and guitar), My Shaolin (vocals), Ia Öberg (flute), Tomas Eriksson (bass), Elias Håkansson (guitar), and Ola Rui Nygard (drums). Their first two albums have been recently re-released in advance of this new one, so if you want to take the journey, it is waiting for you.

The album starts with a deeply drawn breath. “Coming Your Way” is an easing-in passageway to the 1970s rock style of the band, having beautiful flute lines and hypnotic vocals to go along with the somewhat disturbing lyrics. There is a very psychedelic and dreamy feel to every song and it has a cumulative transportive effect when you listen to the entire album. There is a groovy melancholy in a way, too, but it is the kind of feeling that is not sad or depressing but more of an acceptance of the direction of things if not the actual things themselves.

A song to pay particular attention to is “Kom Ta Mig Ut.” It delivers an embodiment of the band’s elemental sound. Partnered with “Spell On Me,” which holds the narrative torch, and “Världen Går Vidare,” where the spirit lives (and the message I really needed today), Lykantropi has made a profound impression on me. If you are in a mellow mood, this music fits the bill. Recommended.

Tales To Be Told will be available on Bandcamp this Friday, November 6th. A couple of singles are there already.

Band photo by Svartna Film.


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Lykantropi, Tales To Be Told review (Despotz Records 2020)