Out Now

(Nuclear Blast)

Kadavar are a nightmare for the digital generation. They’re a band who make albums for the dusty racks of backstreet vinyl boutiques, to be discovered by real music fans, and a group whose dedication to their vintage craft is absolute.

But what’s really special about the German/French act is their songwriting; and if 2015’s Berlin set the bench high for Kadavar, then their fourth opus pushes it high into the clouds. The record features some of their heaviest, most doom-drenched work to date – Into The Wormhole, for instance – but also some of their most graceful, most ethereal passages, such as You Found The Best In Me and A L’Ombre Du Temps.

Plus, in Tribulation Nation, Rough Times boasts one of the band’s finest moments: a fiery anthem powered by Hawkwind’s psych-drive, it’s sure to be a live highlight for years to come, and is evidence of a band dead-set on composing classic songs, not just collections of riffs.

So does Rough Times open up a new audience for the Berlin-based band? In many ways, yes. The title track and Skeleton Blues may pull more strident doomsters into their vortex, while the sheer class of Words Of Evil simply can’t be ignored by the wider rock and metal communities.

But anyone already under their spell will realise that Christophs Lindemann and Bartelt (now joined by new bassist Simon Bouteloup) have the same unfiltered connection to rock’s hazy past that they’ve always had…and they’re still doing wonderful things with it.