Bernelius (Grave Dancer)

Crank this to 8.6 of 11

Released: 2020

Genre: Heavy Rock, Progressive

Sounds Like: Queens of the Stoneage, Tweak Bird, Ruff Majik

In 2017 we were introduced to one of rocks more unusual albums, Space Drifter by Norway’s Bernelius.  Loaded with hyper-groove fretwork, distorted vocals and infectious melodies, this became a staple in our rotation. Three years later we see the anticipated release of their new album Grave Dancer. With an odd cover by the brilliant artist Tessa Najjar, Bernelius continues on the path of infectious bluesy stoner rock. However, there is a more polished and progressive sound on this one. There is definitely a Queens of the Stoneage influence with abundance of tight stoner-driven guitar licks.


Felix Bernelius Hegdal, the mastermind behind the band is one unusual character and talent. His vocals are very distinct and is the main draw to the album. The music goes through various quick tempo changes and has a downright raw sound at times which makes this such an entertaining listen. The tracks run into one another as you never really know what song your on. Bernelius has grown from the last album and continues to explore some boundaries of heavy rock. So, if you want some fresh sounding rock with a twist and bizarre lyrics, get this album.


Tracklist:

1. Free Range Human 03:52

2. Arm the Cannon 04:10

3. The Song on the Radio 03:04

4. Lone Documentarian 03:46

5. Watch It Happen 04:52

6. Grave Dancer 04:47

7. Resurrection 03:54

8. Tonight 04:07

9. Vaffanculo, Assassino 04:07

10. The Man Would Speak His Piece 02:50


Standout Track(s)

”Watch It Happen” is classic Bernileus, it has such odd lyrics and the spoken word styles vocals are addicting. The steady rhythm is infectious and sounds tremendous loud. “Resurrection” is another song  that shows their unusual craftsmanship coupled with great vocals.


Adult Beverage Pairing

We want something a bit unusual for this album. Tray and grab some Deth by Plums from Revolution Brewing in Illinios. This 11.4% ABV Russian Imperial Stout has a slight taste of plums with hints of bourbon and chocolate. Seems overwhelming, but we love the exploration in taste. A great pairing with Grave Dancer.

ROTATION RECAP:

Vocal Performance

9.1 out of 11


Risk of Subwoofer Damage

8.2 out of 11


Captivation and Variety

8.5 out of 11


Weight of the Heavy

7.9 out of 11


Lyrics and Song Structure

8.5 out of 11


Overall Album Flow

8.4 out of 11


Album Cover Aesthetics

8.1 out of 11


Production Value

8.6 out of 11

Final Thoughts

Bernileus is not your typical heavy rock album. They possess a very unique vibe even with the influences we mentioned earlier. If this album strikes a chord with you, we highly recommend Space Drifter as well, both albums a have an authentic quality that will add nice variety to your collection.


Follow Bernelius: Bandcamp / Facebook


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