Kamchatka’s latest album Long Road Made of Gold goes from Appalachia bluegrass to progrock in a matter of moments. The opening track “Take Me Back Home” has the makings of arena-rock meets Muse. Tobias Strandvik’s drumming marches forward in aggressive formation as lead singer and guitarist Thomas Juneor Andersson’s fingers dance skillfully up and down the guitar, meticulously and skillfully shredding riffs, while howling powerful ballads touching on topics from fighting demons to the positive uplifting war cries of their single “Get Your Game On”. Per Wiberg on bass completes the Swedish trio, stabilizing the towering trifecta of colossal stoner metal.
Released through Despotz Records and mastered by The United Kingdom’s Russ Russell, a highly skilled veteran with decades of experience, Kamchatka’s sixth album is a venturesome step into new waters for the band. Rather than replicating the successful formula that worked for them on their previous album, they blend crisp and soulful blues vocals with psychedelic thrash throughout these ten new tracks, creating a Frankenstein’s monster of 90’s rock and modern metal. There are influences of heavy hitters from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Velvet Revolver, an amalgamation of Audioslave and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Able to remain true to the group’s trademark sound, Russ Russell manages to balance the sonic purity of the group’s core while unifying their early rock roots with integrity. The album closes with the blistering “To You,” the second single released from Long Road, bookending the daring new hardcore meets contemporary pressing.
Kamchatka confidently carries the Nordic torch for their Scandinavian brethren, a region as rich in musical rock stylings as it is in breathtaking scenery. With the new lineup solidified and having just released their finest recording to date, Kamchatka’s sound will transcend the Norwegian, North, and Baltic Seas and in turn influence as many groups as they themselves have been affected and shaped by. An avant-garde and magnum opus of an album, these Swedes are pioneering a progressive sound all their own.