Taberah – Sinner’s Lament (Killer Metal Records)Thursday, 22nd June 2017
Fortunate to watch the growth of Australian power metal band Taberah through their two previous full-lengths The Light of Which I Dream in 2011 and Necromancer in 2013, the band also released a 6 song EP last year in Welcome to the Crypt which would be mixed/mastered from Lord main man Tim Grose. Sinner’s Lament sees Tim step up on the production front as well, a quartet that has an additional benefit of keeping their core lineup together for all these efforts. It’s obvious that these gentlemen possess genuine musicianship skills, executing stirring guitar harmonies and multi-part vocal melodies that siphon into catchy songs, which should appeal to a wide swath of heavy metal maniacs.
An 80’s metal anthem template puts “Harlott” in early headbanger highlight mode, the main riffing very much Sunset Strip-oriented while the single word gang chorus plus supplemental sweet harmonization tantalizing much like early W.A.S.P. meets Dokken. Guitarists Jonathan Barwick and Myles Flood throw down serious twin shred action in the instrumental section with bassist Dave Walsh adding a short bass swinging transition uplift, imagine the hair flying on this one. The production quality and overall tones achieved give “Horizon” and “Crypt” this added forceful punch – very lively especially in terms of the snare and guitar crunch, while aiding the melodic aspects where the multi-part vocal passages bring up Queen/Blind Guardian aural guidelines that you just don’t hear that often for classic/power metal. Musically much of the tempos and riffing aren’t going to wow in a battle sequence, blitzkrieg way – Taberah prefer to level the playing field in that mid-tempo arena of Dio-level Sabbath, Grave Digger, and maybe a twinge of Iron Maiden/Thin Lizzy for the cultural/epic edge. Check out the fervent march feel and chord combinations that ring true within “The Final March of Man”, which along with the title cut explores their comfort in seven-minute plus arrangements by adding acoustic/keyboard dynamics or supplemental female vocals for total atmospheric twists.
Rare that another wow moment occurs in a cover, but the band took a classic 70’s radio staple for The Eagles’ “Hotel California” to end the record and made it their own. The opening sequence sticks to the beautiful acoustic intro, embellishing it with electricity, then at 48 seconds ramping up the speed and tempo to almost early Metallica / Dragonforce pacing, while still keeping the vocal harmonies and iconic twin closing guitar refrain on point. If you are going to challenge yourself, make it yours, and the conviction can’t be denied – more bands could learn from Taberah if they want to put a unique spin on a classic track.
Sinner’s Lament provides positive proof for Australia’s hotbed status in heavy metal these days.