Sven Gali have not had an easy ride. Their debut Sven Gali was just a year too late to make them into the rock heroes they seemed destined to be. Had it come out in 1991, they would have had a massive hit on their hands. The second album Inwire (1995) was a reaction to the 90s alterna-metal scene. The band reunited in 2007, but tragedy struck when cancer killed founding guitarist Dee Cernile in 2012.
Against the odds, Sven Gali persevered and in 2018 added some heavy firepower to the lineup: Dan Fila and Sean Williamson of Varga. One by one, they began releasing new tracks. Now in 2020 we have the first new Sven Gali release in 25 years: an EP called 3.
Somewhat surprisingly, Sven Gali did not revert back to the hard rock anthemic sound that was the cornerstone of their debut album. Instead they picked up where they left off on Inwire, with four new songs produced by David Bendeth who also produced their debut. Incredibly it sounds like they haven’t missed a step. Even more incredibly, it’s some of their best stuff! Singer Dave Wanless has lost nothing. The band is still rounded out by original members: guitarist Andy Frank and bassist Shawn Minden.
The four songs all share melodic vocal hooks, heavy guitars and aggressive grooves. With the addition of Fila and Williamson, the band have rebuilt themselves into a beast heavier than before. Picking a favourite isn’t possible because this EP is not immediate. Like many favourites that stand the test of time, 3 will take some listens to fully absorb and love. Fortunately we have a whole summer ahead of us to do that. The EP has the depth and potential to become a bit of a classic. Even if Inwire wasn’t your thing, this EP is better. The songs are more focused, heavier, with more hooks. The vocal melodies sometimes veer into an old anthemic metal style, like on “Hurt”. By taking their time, Sven Gali were able to make sure they had four excellent tracks for this release.
Good on Sven Gali for sticking it out, and not resting on their laurels. Any band can get replacement members and reunite. Fewer still put out new music, much less on a physical media. Sven Gali have put together a slammin’ new lineup and a triumphant EP. You just can’t write this band off.