When I read that Dungen’s fourth studio album would be titled “4” I eagerly anticipated covers of Misty Mountain Hop, Going to California, and, of course, Stairway, all in the Swedish band’s signature heavy psychedelic mode. But it’s not a covers album. There’s probably not a huge market for orchestral psychedelia, let alone jazzy metal, but wherever such records are sold, they should make “4” their pick-of-the-year. None of the album is in English, so the sounds have to tell the story, whether it is the intricate, Grateful-Dead-meets-Metallica instrumentals, which stretch out and sprawl (“Samtidigt 2”), or the pastoral, string-based “Maleras Finest,” or the metal-meets-piano of Fredag, or the perfect-for-blues vocals. Instead of pushing aggressive licks, the album creates a mood. Albeit a heavy mood, and one with plenty of aggressive licks. “4” offers an all-encompassing environment of dense, intricate metal. A forest to
be lost in. Like Metallica did on “S&M,” Dungen moves past the limitations of metal and enters an even bigger, more self-important world.
And they are masters of their domain.
For fans of: Cream the “Golden Nuggets” sound.