Svartanatt – Last Days On Earth
Svartanatt is a Swedish rock band formed in 2014. With melodic guitars, heavy organs, high-energy drums, groovy basslines, and unique sharp vocals, Svartanatt creates its timeless rock sound. The band’s third album was released by The Sign Records in 2023. Almost a decade of rocking has allowed this band to find an identity and build a body of work that is as recognizable as it is catchy. Most of the songs are the perfect length for radio play, and being based in Europe likely allows them to get airplay. Too bad American radio is so limited in what they will play. These songs would fit right in with today’s Modern and Classic Rock.
- Jani Lehtinen – Vocals/Guitar
- Felix Gåsste – Guitar
- Anton Fors – Bass/Background Vocals
- Martin Borgh – Organ/Keyboards
- Daniel Heaster – Drums/Percussion
November 3, 2023 – The Sign Records
- Demons In The Night
- Mad Stranger
- The Crows
- Child Of The Devil
- Keep On Movin
- Children Of The Sun
- I’m Ready
- Time Is On Your Side
- Texas Dance
- What You Want
- Where I Belong
Svartanatt, according to Google Translate, means Black Night. While they are definitely not Black Metal, they do have a bit of darkness built into their tones and some lyrical content. The album opens with “Demons Of The Night,” a Hard Rock song with some Bluesy hints and interesting guitar tones. Layered-in keyboards add a bit of spookiness Bob Daisley style, giving an 80s throwback sound to the composition. Despite all that, there is an upbeat tempo and overall feeling to the song which makes for a wild auditory journey.
Vocally, the lead voice hangs in the lower range without going for the top end much. The music does not call for that, so I appreciate them not trying to force a lot of unnecessary power into places they don’t belong. This does not mean there is no power, just that there is no unnecessary overpowering. Svartanatt knows when they need the voice to hit the belting notes and they do so well. Instead, they use backing and layered vocals to carry the load.
Almost every track on this record is mid-tempo and uses very similar tunings, giving the whole album a nice coherent sound that tracks from start to finish. The songs are all in that radio friendly time range as well, running from 3-5 minutes. The catchy rhythms, melodic guitar tones, and Hard Rock feel likely to play well on European radio stations. Unfortunately, the US does not like anything new unless it’s from a well-known band, so not likely to hit these stations. We just do not appreciate good music as we should.
Another thing I like about this band is that they use the keyboards in several different ways. Take “Texas Dance” for instance. Here, the keys sound very Ray Manzarek, playing more like something you would hear on a Doors album than anywhere else. Svartanatt has a lot of historical influences, ranging from the 60s to the 90s, but with a modern feel and fresh recording techniques. This ability to play to sounds from spanning decades is an awesome talent and they should be commended for being able to do this as seamless and clear as they have on this record. This is Modern Classic Rock in so many ways that I really do appreciate what they have managed to accomplish.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
Overall – 9.00