Coming from Gothenburg in Sweden, GALVANO is a duo consisting in Mattias Nööjd (guit/voc) and Fredrik Käll (drums) and we're talking here about their debut album 'Two Titans" which will be released within the next weeks through the english label Devouter rds...
Even if still not usual, it becomes more and more frequent to see in the Sludge movement this formula of 2 individuals without bass and I feel it's pretty cool cause the result is most often very exciting and particularly punchy; GALVANO is another nice proof of that...
This "Two Titans" contains 8 songs for about 50 minutes of SLUDGE METAL, to get an idea about the kind of themes/moods you should expect from those guys, Mattias precises "All these songs are personal, all the way throughout the record. They are about personal matters and demons. It's about finding the darkest corners, the dark lord within and to show up for battle. Portrayed as two titans in constant battle: Good/Evil, Darkness/Light and so on. And sometimes wanting to embrace either side. It's about knowing when your mind is pulling tricks and being able to stop it."...
Even if this description is pretty accurate and the exact lyrical content certainly needs exploration for a fair judgement (this duality concept has been so much used...), one must recognize there's nothing exceptionnal so far to catch your interest immediately !? Is that just another average band in this perpetual magma of bands flourishing everyday from everywhere ? GALVANO the band's name sounds more bizarre than eye-catching and the nondescript cover is pretty lame in my opinion... but Sweden rarely disappoints and after all isn't the content of the album the most important ???!
Sure, and on that essential point we're far from something common and soulless. GALVANO 's brand of SLUDGE METAL is relentless, filled with an infectious marrow which is basically distilled by sharp and powerful metallic riffage. Straight with rumbling riffs and walloping drums, it can be almost thrashy at times ("Ethereal Sword") or with a CORE feel at others ("Destroyer") but is generally just fucking intense !!!
And that's not all, avoiding the possible boredom of perpetual violence and stickiness, GALVANO regularly take the time to temper their anger by catchy slowed-down passages, dark and atmospheric, which have a slightly progressive edge in their execution. Inversely those different tones are also displayed through quiet intros which ramp-up to finally take you by the throat. Those guys like to play with your emotions. I don't think we can say that those quieter moments are DOOM but they surely bring some dark epicness in here.
What is cool in my opinion is that there's nothing too predictable in the structures and textures of the songs; also could it be gnarly and rumbling with painful vocals or more refined with ethereal melodies, they tigthly manage to keep it always intense and heavy.
All in all, despite some elements that don't make it particularly attractive and distinctive at 1st sight, this debut album by GALVANO is highly recommendable !