ALBUM REVIEW: Kadavar – For The Dead Travel Fast

Release Date: September 29th 2019
Label: Nuclear Blast Records


After studying to be sound engineers at high school, Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt and Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann met in the underground bars of Berlin where they struck upon the revival of classic rock in the early 2000s.

This inspired them to step away from the heavier, louder, and more confrontational trends of the time and seek to keep a homegrown rough edge to their style.

Since 2010, they’ve released four studio albums, and we will see if they can continue the revival in ‘For The Dead Travel Fast’.

Introduced with a haunting atmosphere of distant chords, deep organs, and wailing vocals, ‘The End’ is an unexpected and interesting beginning that links straight into follower, ‘The Devil’s Master’. Produced with a low key recording style, it isn’t a slap to the face of modern metal but a gentle pat on the shoulder that would be at home in the 70s or 80s.

Ringing with classic rock sentiment, ‘Children Of The Night’ progresses with warm guitar tones and chords that steadily build up in intensity with a background of retrospective synths to crescendo into a full bank of thrashing riffs. This is cast aside in a juxtaposition of distant vocalisations from Christoph Lindemann that reflects the old school style that remains pitched in wandering layers of reverb and backing vocals.

Maximising the fuzz, ‘Poison’ ratchets up the distortion in a confrontational wall of chords and bouncing rhythms from Christoph Bartelt, whose wide cymbals and natural drums give an authentic background for the guitars to have a wider spectrum of tones.

Slowing to a spectral pace, ‘Saturnales’ creates a haunting atmosphere with ringing feedback and sombre guitar tones that, apart from a brief interlude of cello, is left in a pure dream state with lyrics telling the story of old memories and encounters. While there have been brief breaks of acoustic sections and pauses, this is an excellent extension into a full track.

There’s nothing wild or new about the whole experience of ‘For The Dead Travel Fast’, but the effective use of modern production techniques ties in with the song writing and style that the band have taken on.