Review – Greenleaf – Nest of Vipers
One of the first Small Stone Records bands that I instantly fell in love with has returned. This is a band is exactly what the doctor ordered so many years ago, and I’m still being given a prescription to this day. Of course, this is a band that is in need of no introductions, but who doesn’t appreciate the build-up, anyway? Greenleaf, the Swedish stoner ‘supergroup’, if you will, is back after yet another change in lineup, and the band blends seamlessly as ever. It’s been an agonizingly long 5 years since they last released new material, but it looks like the new material was well worth the wait.
For anybody familiar with their discography (i.e., everyone), you’ll find that Nest of Vipers sits somewhere between Agents of Ahriman and Secret Alphabets in style. It’s a mix that I was a little surprised to hear, but pleased nonetheless. As much as I love Agents, I’ve always had a soft spot for their earlier albums with Fredrik on vocals, and the mixing of the two styles is a wet dream come true. True to form, this is a Greenleaf album from start to finish. The band maintains their masterful groovy fuzziness and catchy riffs that blurs the line between time and space. This album also has a noticeable amount of Dozer mixed throughout for good measure. All this culminates with the title track with two very special guests, Fredrik on vocals and Per Wiberg on the organ.
I’ve been anticipating this album ever since I learned they were back together and writing new material. I kept waiting for the release, and the suspense only heightened my want, my need, for the new material. Usually, this much hype dooms an album because there’s no way that it could live up to the hype that you’ve given it. Then again, there are the few bands that can not only meet your ludicrously high expectations, but they can shatter it, as well. Greenleaf has done just that with Nest of Vipers. After 12 years, several incarnations, and another hiatus later, the band is still rocking as hard as ever. This is a must-own treasure. Unfortunately, the wait is still not over. The album’s official release is set until 06/12/12, but there is a silver lining as this sure to be available for purchase through Small Stone prior to its release. It”s still not soon enough, but it’s the best we’re going to get. That is, unless you are a fan of digital-only, then you can pick this album up off of iTunes right now.