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I've heard people claim that Swedish band Mustasch is some sort of stoner/doom-influenced metal, which automatically would lead me to believe that it would be something that I would not like. With their 2012 release, Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven, the band has really won me on the grounds that what they create is simply pure, unadulterated rockin' heavy metal of the utmost quality.
The guitars don't have too much of that ridiculously over-the-top splatter that you hear in most stoner releases, and everything is played far too tightly to be lumped in with bands that go for that general sound. I guess you could say it's too polished to be considered stoner sludge, but also not heavy enough and too rock-and-roll-driven to be considered modern heavy metal. In any event, this album rocks.
As I said before, the guitars are tight and sound excellent. Riff after riff comes through and feels instantly memorable just because of the overall no-nonsense simplicity of the band's approach. When a guitar solo is needed, David Johannesson or Ralf Gyllenhammar provide just what the song needs, demonstrating an obvious knack for catchy songwriting.
The most compelling aspect of the record, however, are the vocals. Gyllenhammar has, in my opinion, one of the best yet most underrated voices in all of metal. I don't know nor do I care about the extent of the studio shenanigans that were involved in the recording process, but Gyllenhammar always sounds spot-on and incredibly powerful. His combination of power and skill reminds me a lot of Grand Magus in that the total package just sounds so fantastically good that you could care less about other arbitrary things about the album like lyrical content and song structure. His performance is an absolute gem on this record, and it shouldn't be overlooked.
Written for http://raisethyhorns.blogspot.com