September 18, 2022

Märvel is a Swedish high-energy rock band which formed in 2002 that delights in offering a solid hard rock mixed with a little glam/sleaze rock. The guys spent a year in the States on a high school exchange to Colorado which has obviously influenced the musical development of the band, so you do get a real glam vibe but built on old school British rock particularly Thin Lizzy so expect elements of Black Star Riders and The Darkness too.

Graces Came With Malice is the bands ninth album following from the really enjoyable Guilty Pleasures which the band put out in 2019. As the name probably indicates, the band took the name Märvel because of a love of the comic book world but added the umlaut to give the name gravitas and a more ‘metal’ look and feel. The group also performs in masks and superhero costumes to give a more theatrical flavour to the shows and even add an air of mystery!

Märvel is made up by The Burger (Ulrik Bodstedt) on bass, (The Vicar Tony Samuelsson) on drums and The King (John Steen) on guitar and vocals although there have been some changes in the band with also some of the personas being changed too, it’s amazing how donning a mask/uniform can change a personality so easily! The band delivers up a highly enjoyable and rather frenetic rock and roll which is upbeat and infectious so that you so easily get into what they are serving up. The band may make ample use of gimmicks with masks and the whole superhero concept but they back it all up with a wealth of talent and experience as a rock band so that they really can rock out big style.

The songs are all short, sharp and perfectly formed with a great deal of melody with John Steen delivering perfectly with his perfect English delivery and he is a fine guitarist too. It always amazes me that Swedish bands seem to have an uncanny ability for producing rock music that is so quintessentially British or American depending upon the bands that the musicians listened to in their formative years and this album, as with the first, is very much a trans-Atlantic sounding work.

If you like a bit of glam boogie with lots of bass and great guitar, then Märvel is the band for you. Graces Came With Malice offers nothing really new or radically ground-breaking, just honest to goodness rock and roll and, as with the first album, designed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Graces Came With Malice

  1. Slasher with a Broken Heart (3:37)
  2. The Disaster (3:30)
  3. Sound of Life Slipping Away (3:45)
  4. Great Man (3:21)
  5. Graces Came with Malice (3:49)
  6. One Common Enemy (3:31)
  7. Sorry State of Affairs (2:56)
  8. Lizard’s Tongue (3:37)
  9. Hot Nite in Dallas (2:54)
  10. Queen for a Day (4:44)