The Gardnerz
The System of Nature

Listen, I’ll readily admit to being one of those shallow, close minded types that judges a book by its cover, or a band by its moniker. And quite frankly a band with the name The Gardenerz wasn’t something I was ready to dive into. It’s the same reason I’ve never listened to Weekend Nachos and only recently discovered Lemming Project. However, as is customary in this business, the start of 2012 sees me revisiting late 2011 releases that impressed me, and despite the name, Sweden’s The Gardenerz have released a pretty interesting debut of doom/death metal.

My initial, gut reaction comparison was mid-era Paradise Lost (Shades of God, Icon, Draconian Times), except The Gardenerz have traditional death/doom growls. The guitar work of Wilhelm Lindh has the somber, but melodic, rending hues akin to Gregor Mackintosh’s work as Paradise Lost transitioned from doom/death to more gothic tones. But with the vocals of Niclas Ankarbranth being far more extreme, The Gardenerz, even with a few more introspective moments, are a much more heavy hitting doom/death act.

Even though the band moniker doesn’t scream death/doom, (unless  I’m missing something), the song titles are a little more indicative of the genre as the likes of  “The Art of Suffering”, “Your Final Solution”, “The Lady in the Grave” and “Maybe its Time” display, even though the songs never delve into 8-10 minute dirges. Each of the songs are between 4-6 minutes and typically get right to it with plodding riffs, the occasional more up tempo rumble and lots of layers of melancholy, though not completely despondent tones. The Gardenerz aren’t going to open your wrists with dirges of woe or crush you with riffs, and that might be the only slight drawback to The System of Nature. It’s that it never fully commits to either doom or death and with a few injections of acoustics, the band’s overall direction is a bit indecisive.  The somber doom element, when done is indeed solid, as heard on “Born to Consume”, the start of “Incident” or elegantly doomy start of  “Flaw in the Axiom”, but the band’s slightly herky jerky shifts to more up-beat, almost jazzy or prog moments (“Shift in Thought”, “Confusion”), breaks some of the fluidity of the album.

But on the whole, the album is pretty well done.

The only other slight negative is the slightly tinny production which lessens the impact of some of the more rending, loping moments. It’s a production more suited to power metal or heavy metal, but it certainly gives The Gardenerz a bit of character, which, when mixed with two covers (Vulcano‘s “Bloody Vengeance” and Winter‘s “Servants of the Warsmen”) show The Gardenerz to indeed be more than a run of the mill doom/death band.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 10th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: Stiffy
  2. Commented by: gordeth

    Heh, I just got this album yesterday. Their name threw me off too. I was expecting something stoner-related, but it turned out to be some of the more interesting death/doom I’ve heard recently. They have some maturing to do, but they have a unique sound going on. I think you did a good job of describing it, but the first thing that came to my mind was a death metal version of Cathedral’s more lively material. There’s definitely a strong early Peaceville Three influence as well. I look forward to hearing more from these guys.


  3. Commented by: Tuco

    Love this album! Think the guitar reminds me of Death especially “Scavenger of human sorrow” album..


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