Taberah – Necromancer

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A very agreeable merger of classic and power metal with melodic flames licking the imagination from within, Necromancer the new album from Tasmanian metallers Taberah makes for one rather tasty and satisfying encounter. Fusing a mix of essences which reap the seeds of Iron Maiden like heavy metal, AC/DC spawned classic rock ‘n’ roll, and the over blown revelry of Powerwolf, the album is a richly enjoyable ride which arguably is low on originality but high on accomplished perfectly sculpted pleasure.

With seeds blossoming from 2004 through guitarist/vocalist Jonathon Barwick and drummer Tom Brockman, Taberah has built a mighty reputation and following through firstly the Tasmanian live music scene on to the Australian shores and beyond. Handpicked by Lemmy for the Sydney leg of Motorhead’s 2011 Australian tour the band earned equally potent reactions from their own shows and the sharing of stages with artists such as Paul Di’anno, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, LORD, Psycroptic, Black Majesty and many more. 2011 also saw the release of the band’s debut album The Light Of Which I Dream, recorded with producer Joe Haley of Psycroptic, the record drawing strong acclaim around the world. Its successor Necromancer looks set to cement their stature and take it up a few more levels and though arguably it offers little truly new, the Dust On The Tracks Records released album leaves nothing less than eager satisfaction from its creative revelry.

With guitarist Myles Flood and bassist Dave Walsh alongside Barwick and Brockman, the album opens up with the mighty 2012. InstantlyTaberahNecromancerthe great throaty bass growl conjured from Walsh seduces the ear whilst crisp beats stand by its side with anticipation for the melodic flames of guitar. Next group harmonies light the air before the delivery of Barwick impressively delivers the lyrical narrative within a mesh of sonic imagination and striking craft. As energetically inviting as it is infectiously compelling, the song makes a great start to the album offering expectations what they wish for and intrigue plenty to find thrills within especially the excellent solo mid-way.

Dying Wish continues the riveting introduction with its colourful sinew clad riot of power/glam metal. There is a Cooperesque breath to the track especially early in its presence which catches the ear and with a contagious gallop of a chorus the track like the first provides all the aural manna needed to brawl with a wide smile on the passions.

From here on in the album ebbs and flows in its contents and originality thus also in success though plenty of that is down to personal preferences as much as the songs. The melodically weaved encounter Burning In The Moonlight, the dramatic Warlord, and the acoustically shaped Don’t Say You’ll Love Me are prime examples, all hard to dismiss and mark down such their craft and open imagination but still they are unable to generate a spark for the passions to grip on to. Amongst this trio there is the excellent title track to keep the release hanging on to its earlier heights though, the track a climactic march of air flailing riffs and flesh stripping rhythms creating a web for vocals and harmonies to paint their provocative and descriptive tale. As across the whole of Necromancer, from drums to bass, guitars to vocals everything is irrepressibly potent and skilled, all coming together in this instance for a ferocious yet merciful rampage.

Further highlights are unveiled in the shapes of the explosive and sonically absorbing For King And Country and the outstanding beast of a track The Hammer Of Hades where the band finds a carnivorous predation to accost the ear not seen previously on the album. It is a thunderous treat which leaves the closing harmonic sunset of  My Dear Lord quite pale in comparison though the bonus track Burn ensures the album ends on a final storm of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll.

Necromancer is a very decent and satisfying album which declares Taberah as one of the bands within melodic/heavy metal able to really fuse old school and modern metal into a voracious if debatably slightly unadventurous pleasure.

www.facebook.com/taberah.tas

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2013

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From The Depth – Back To Life

For someone who struggles to fully appreciate the attributes and assets of power metal it has to be said Back To Live form Italian band From The Depth is one fun and thoroughly engaging release. Only the recent album from Powerwolf has previously thrilled the senses and leapt with a firm welcome into the ears as does Back To Life, power metal as a whole as with classic rock pushed aside for much harder pummelling genres. It has to be admitted though that From The Depth are a band that even with its distinct genre flavoured and expected sounds has an extra flourish and almost majestic feel that lifts up even the naturally dark emotions.

From The Depth  formed in 2008 and with a few months and the release of their debut EP The Will To Be The Flame made a strong impression and mark in North Italy’s metal underground scene. This success led to  the band finding themselves in impressive and important venues around the country building up their fan base and strong positive impressions.  Rising Records signed the band in October 2010 soon followed by the worldwide distribution of their debut album. April this year saw the band start recording Back To Life with a brief interruption when chosen to take part in the “An Evening With Kamelot” event, sharing the stage with Kamelot, Sons Of Season and other special guests such as Simone Simmons and Fabio Lione. This month sees the release of  the album and the start of an emotional bond with undoubtedly a great many new power metal and melodic rock fans.

Immediately the album begins, the biggest positives on the album reveal themselves to ensure full attention and focus over the album’s full length. The first thing and the most impressive is the keyboards of  Davide “Fortress” Castro , the man is a maestro and without exception he enhances and lifts every track to heights they would not touch without his skilful and melodic imagination and ability. The opening instrumental  and title track even with a length briefly over a minute unveils his skill and mesmeric play. From the off and throughout the whole album he conjures up melodies and sweeping sounds that do nothing less than enrapture the senses.

The following eager rampant power metal anthemic ‘Live For Today’ brings forth the other great things that makes Back To Life an album that demands attention. Firstly there is the energetic and formidable drums of Cristiano Battini, instinctive and with an inner primitive hypnotic pull in the ear he leads songs supported by the deep resonating tones of bassist  Alessandro “Kara” Karabelas. Then there is the well written and presented melodic guitars of Alessandro Cattani, striking and never predictable they add extra biting texture against the keyboard sounds. Though Cattani does not often stray from classic and melodic rock familiarity he uses influences and flavours in an assured and varied way to give extra spice rather than repetition. Lastly there is the vocals of Raffaele “Raffo” Albanese, his clean and well balanced voice firmly in the hard/classic rock style but without indulging into the formula high pitched squeals and wails.

There is a slight inconsistency to the album but that is more down to personal taste with songs like the power ballads of ‘The Cruel Kindness’ and ‘Nenia’ plus the predictable and familiar rock sound of ‘You Just Have To Fly’ which plays quite flat in energy and vocally, not working as well as the other more impetuous and thrilling tracks. These moments are rare and soon forgotten by the catchy hooks and  melodic endeavours from the guitars and especially the keys plus the irrepressible rhythms as in the likes of ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’, ‘The Will to Be the Flame’, and ‘Nothing to You’ though everything is wiped away by the stunning instrumental ‘Lack of Emotion’, easily the best track on the album and one of the most emotively effective pieces of music found on any rock album this year.

From The Depth may not be the most flavoursome sound in theory to these ears but with Back To Life they have produced an album that enthuses and thrills even the hardest of rock hearts with magnetic power rock sounds.

RingMaster 28/11/2011

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Powerwolf – Blood Of The Saints

Blood Of The Saints the new album from German metalers Powerwolf is not simply just another simple studio release, their fourth album on Metal Blade Records was a long and determined piece of  creativity. Recorded across multiple studios and in a 13th Century church for choir segments it is a labour of love that completely shows through over the eleven striking and infectious tracks. Their work and intensive thought in making the album work at the height of its ability is as impressive as the big power metal sounds, harmonies and choruses themselves. Guitarist Matthew Greywolf of the band commented “We’re really excited about this album. It’s been a hard piece of work, but it was so goddamn worth it. I think on Blood Of The Saints we really delivered a striking balance of mighty melodic stuff and some serious wolfish metal madness, all dressed up in some highly catchy tunes. We can hardly wait until the album is finally out and we can celebrate these tunes together with all of you. Be prepared!”
Founded by Matthew and his brother and fellow guitarist in the band Charles, Powerwolf have continued and moved on from their acclaimed previous album Bible Of The Beast with the new release bringing their blasphemous/religious/occult content inside big powerful, enveloping songs. It has to be said this Review never expected to ever be won over or write positive things about a power metal band but the fact is this album is stunning.
The album starts with the intro of ‘Agnus Dei’ leading into a trio of glorious tracks and the best three on the album. ‘Sanctified With Dynamite’ immediately bursts into big vocals, Attila Dorn in impressive full flow over rapidly jabbing drums and majestic church organ sounds from Falk Maria Schlegel. The song is incessant pulling one into its heart to join in with the chorus and feel the power, though that can be claimed of most of the tracks on Blood Of The Saints to be fair.  
We Drink Your Blood’ and ‘Murder At Midnight’ keep the quality coming, their vocal cord bursting choruses, flowing harmonic guitars and probing rhythms certain to get any warm blooded rocker fist pumping to the sky. The drumming duties after the departure of Tom Diener were taken by Roel van Helden on the album and to say he did a fine job is being unjust to his brilliant contribution to each track and especially on these two songs.
Every track of the album though is of such a high standard and it is a joyous surprise for those of us not even remotely having any affection for the genre but there is a variation and vibrancy of sounds and ideas that make it all work perfectly. After such a strong start one could expect a dip in levels after but songs like the Tyr/Dommin spiced ‘Dead Boys Don’t Cry’, the creative guitar flowing ‘Night Of The Werewolves’, and the powerful epic ‘Phantom Of The Funeral’ all show that Powerwolf know how to and do write and deliver songs that consume more than just the ear and all to a high standard.
One can see the band maybe not appeal to everyone but the creativity from the heavy rampant riffs to the symphonic glory within some tracks is undeniable and impressive. If one has a small part in their heart that can feel for big lung busting vocals, soul soaring sound, and primal gifted rhythms then Powerwolf and Blood Of The Saints is your next musical destination.

 http://www.powerwolf.net/

RingMaster 23/07/2011

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