This Swedish heavy psych outfit, featuring former members of Dozer and Greenleaf, has actually received airplay on Swedish National Radio, proving that rock ‘n roll ain’t dead… provided that you cross the pond. After two previous EPs, Besvärjelsen’s debut album is actually named after the Swedish word for poppy—although in this case, we’re talking about the flower, not their musical sensibilities.
Vallmo kicks off with “Mara,” which I don’t think has to do with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (Most of the songs here are in Swedish, but there’s a couple with English lyrics.) This tune opens with a slow, eerie, echo-laden riff, before settling into a mid-paced Blood Ceremony-style groove. (And yes, they also feature female vocals.) “Return to No Return” hits you with a slow ‘n heavy doom riff right from the get-go, sounding sorta like Jex Thoth with its swirling synths, soaring vocals and heavy breakdowns. Nothing wrong with that at all.
“Röda Tummet” is another straight-ahead, Swedish-sung rocker, albeit with a bit more of a softer edge—those synths feature quite prominently. “Öken” brings back the driving heavy riffs, sounding again like Jex or even Castle. I might have heard a lot of stuff that sounds like this before… albeit never in Swedish.