ABRAMIS BRAMA • HEAVY ROCK IN SWEDISH!
Abramis Brama, named after the latin name for the bream fish, hail from the south side of Stockholm, Sweden and has since its formation in 1997 released seven studio albums and one live album with heavy, ecstatic, riff-oriented hard rock – but with Swedish lyrics, an odd choice at the height of the international stoner rock movement around the turn of the millennium.
The quartet consisting of bassist/vocalist Dennis Berg, guitarist Peo Andersson, drummer Fredrik Jansson and original lead vocalist Christian Andersen first recorded a demo of twelve songs in April 1998, followed by the debut album ”Dansa tokjävelns vals” in 1999.
New singer Ulf Torkelsson, formerly of Sunflower, joined the band after the release of the first album, and has fronted the band ever since. The follow-up ”När tystnaden lagt sig…” hit record stores in early 2001, and featured many of the band’s best known songs, and a translation of the Pretty Things number ”Cold Stone” into Swedish as ”Kall som sten”.
Covers of Captain Beyond and Swedish proto-metal pioneers November (who were the first hard rock band to sing in Swedish) were released on tribute albums and singles. After being pressured by their label at the time to record an album in English, the band re-wrote the lyrics for their old songs, re-recorded them with producer Per Wikström and released them as ”Nothing Changes” in 2003.
For ”Rubicon”, released in early 2005, the songs were yet again in Swedish. The band added second guitarist Robert Johansson (from tour partners Backdraft) but soon drummer Fredrik Jansson left the band, later joining Witchcraft (he is now in Angel Witch and Lugnet). His replacement Fredrik Liefvendahl (formerly of both Backdraft and Grand Magus) made his debut on record with the band for their ”Live!” album. ”Smakar söndag”, the band’s only studio album as a quintet, was released in 2009 and nominated for the prestigious P3 Guld award in Sweden by the national radio organization.
Guitarist Robert Johansson left the band in 2011. He was not replaced but instead the band carried on as a quartet, with Peo Andersson handling all guitars, like in their early days. However, at the end of a European tour in the fall of 2012 bassist and founding member Dennis Berg quit the band. An appearance at the legendary German tv show Rockpalast (where they performed solely in Swedish) and the Doom Over Vienna festival were some of his last concerts with Abramis Brama.
The band had then already started to write and plan the recordings for a new studio album, and new bass player Mats Rydström (also from Backdraft, nowadays in Avatarium) joined just in time for the first sessions for ”Enkel biljett”. In 2013 the band made their first live appearances with the new line-up, and was also filmed for a feature about Swedish music by the Brazilian tv show Música na Mochila – a show that’s broadcast all over Latin America.
The title track “Enkel biljett” was released as a vinyl 7” split single with Norwegian friends Black Debbath in January of 2014, and was followed by the full album in May. It got a warm reception from fans and press alike, and Metal Hammer (UK) wrote:
”Abramis Brama have the bases covered, and while Sweden isn’t in danger of running out of vintage- gear retro-rawk shapes, these beardy longhairs have their shit nailed.”
In the liner notes Swedish linguist and tv personality Fredrik Lindström called Abramis Brama Sweden’s most consistent band:
”In order to be consistent, you have to be confident. Abramis Brama sings about humanity, onus and existence with a burning commitment that would make Strindberg recant his words that his fire was the biggest in Sweden.”
Since then the band has toured Sweden, not just the major cities but all over this weird land, and played all the key festivals such as Metallsvenskan, Muskelrock, Getaway, Krökbacken and of course Sweden Rock Festival (for the fourth time). Upon their return to Germany in August of 2017, for the Aquamaria Festival, it became evident that good rock’n’roll is in itself a universal language.
The band returned with ”Tusen år” in April 2018, which was recorded and mixed in the band’s own Hagaton Musikstudio in Stockholm, Sweden by Mats Torkelsson – just like its predecessor. It’s a focused, dense album that stays true to band’s ideals: the heavy riffs, the groove, the Swedish lyrics, and also digs deeper with thoughtful and poetic lyrics, both celebrating and lamenting our existence as humans from the beginning of time into a future unknown.