Mustasch are a tried and true staple of heavy metal in the Gothenburg metal scene. Gothenburg, as you may well know, has produced more melodic death metal bands than you can shake a horned fist at, and a no less impressive horde of black metal acts; Mustasch, however, have taken heavy influence from the speed metal side of the NWOBHM scene of the 70s and 80s, particularly Judas Priest, Grim Reaper, and Motorhead, with a healthy dose of stoner rock a la Monster Magnet and Kyuss. Another thing that really sets Ralf Gyllenhammar (co-founder, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist) and company apart is an infectious sense of humor, and which goes down to their very name, which is meant to be an homage to some of the bands’ collective favorite musicians’ facial hair, i.e. Freddy Mercury and Tony Iommi’s mustaches.
Thank You For The Demon is Mustasch’s 8th studio album, and it showcases a band at the top of their game, and having a damn good time playing some insanely catchy heavy metal. Feared And Hated starts the album off a little wobbly, with some over the top layered vocals, but this doesn’t last too long before Ralf kicks in a riff that would leave Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing green with envy. Seriously, it’s that great. This album is chock full of riffs that will grab your attention and keep it. There’s a good ebb and flow to the album, with the band mixing sounds up from song to song; one minute you’re banging your head along to a real speed demon of a song, the next you’re being sucked into a swirl of hazy stoner rock akin to Spine Of God –era Monster Magnet.
Ralf Gyllenhammar has an impressive range that can go from gritty and snarling to a kind of high pitched wail that is a definite nod to the likes of Freddy Mercury and Ronnie James Dio. The range is pretty impressive, and though the intro to the album may be a bit off-putting to some listeners, stay the course and you will certainly be rewarded. I would be doing David Johannesson a serious disservice if I didn’t mention his impressive lead guitar abilities; there are some real shredders when it comes to the solo guitar-work (From Euphoria To Dystopia is a great example). While the guitar work isn’t super technical, it certainly catches you off guard. The production is fantastic, with nobody having been turned up too high in the mix. I particularly enjoy the low end on the slower, groovier songs, as it gives the rhythm section a little extra heft that would be lost in a lesser producer’s hands.
There’s a lot of humor involved (though I wouldn’t go as far as to call this comedy rock) which needs to be taken into consideration with each and every track. Each track is a mini-epic, and the humor runs rampant throughout. I Hate To Dance is a great example of this humor; It’s an ode to heavy metal and head banging, with a down-tuned riff reminiscent of Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue, played over a dance beat.
If you like your metal dark, angry, and more aggressive in nature, you might not be able to overlook the tongue in cheek humor that goes with listening to this record; however, if you like classic heavy metal, with a touch of stoner rock (fans of Spiritual Beggars take notice) then this might be a pleasant surprise for you if you aren’t familiar with Mustasch already. Thank You For The Demon was truly a breath of fresh air, and will definitely be giving this record quite a few spins.