The Jam Session
Nar Morkret Valler Over

What if a Swedish death metal band decided to give in to its Sabbath influences and admit to even liking the Grateful dead a little bit? Probably something a lot like this. Nar Morkret Valler Over is the third album from The Jam Session, who refer to themselves as “Swedish gods” on their Web site. Umm… not exactly.

Apparently the band formed in 1998 and have released a lot of singles, splits and other recordings independently and on small labels. They say that no two works have ever sounded the same. Since this is my introduction to the band, I can’t verify that, but certainly there are enough diverse elements thrown into this mix to make the statement believable.

Take a song like “Heavy is the Burden,” which sounds in turns like Entombed, Sabbath and a stoner jazz band. Then there’s a lot of oddness, like “Heartbeats,” which is, well, 30 seconds of heartbeats, and “Sommen,” which reminds me of those old haunted house Halloween records when I was a kid, full of spooky groans, creaks and whispers.

Truthfully, the band cranks out some pretty good sludgy doom grooves, like on the tune “Nothing But Scars,” which puts me in mind of what Down might sound like if LG Petrov took over the vocals. The bass line of “Suffer the Loss” reminds me of Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom.”

The problems the band runs into are that the production is pretty rough, and the sound is almost abrasive at times – and not in a good way. And for me, personally, Robert Kardell’s death vocals just don’t jibe with the music. The grooves make me want to hear a Phil Anselmo or Pepper Keenan type vocal.

Though The Jam Session isn’t likely to make my best of list for the year, I could certainly listen to it and enjoy it from time to time.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
March 14th, 2006


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