Take the DNA from Sabbath’s Master of Reality, punk it up a bit, and you have the enigmatic new band called Ardbeggar!
Formed in Gothenburg, Sweden with past experience in the Scandi metal scene they must have decided to put the music first and to keep distractions to a minimum, as their promo photograph is of a group of characters with bags over their heads and the album lists the musicians as: The Singer – vocals/guitars, The Guitarist – guitars/vocals, The Bassist – bass/vocals, The Drummer – drums!
Debut album Bring Your Own Demons is 10 tracks of heavy, theatrical rock which – pun intended – strikes a chord due to the number of catchy songs.
‘Alcohol’ starts off a fair pace complete with plenty of ‘whoa ohs’ in the chorus and is heavy but with pop sensibilities and is brilliant! A bit less tambourine shaking during the chorus would have been appreciated. ‘Sailing the Debris’ has a very Master of Reality start and its staccato sections help build a decent song. As is ‘War With Rock ‘n’ Roll’, another familiar composition with potential. This even has a short but good solo, lacking in most of the tracks. ‘Evil Highway’ is the best of the bunch – Metallica like vocals aside. It has a riff which sounds like the illegitimate child of Sabbath and the Tygers of Pan Tang, which can only be ‘a good thing’.
The only problem is that some of the tracks blur due to their similarity. The Singer obviously has the range to help in this, but he tends toward a similar pitch and structure on both the verses and choruses.
It is a fun album, which is perfect for the ‘shuffle’ setting as opposed to one sitting. If they can develop and vary their delivery, they could become something very special.