Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tasmanian Devils?: A Review of Taberah's Necromancer Album

At the mention of Tasmania my thoughts automatically drift to the Looney Tunes Cartoon character, "Taz" the Tasmanian Devil.  "Taz" was a very cool character until his popularity soared over the top and not only was the little cartoon appearing on everything from coffee mugs and t-shirts to truck floor mats, but it seemed to be all the rage to get “Taz” tattooed as well.  More than one person in my life is sporting a "Taz" holding a stein of frothy beer tattoo!  But now something new has directed my attention towards the Australian island of Tasmania.

Hailing from Tasmania, Australia the band Taberah started out in 2006 playing their first pub gigs when they were just 16 years of age, a story reminiscent of the grunge/alternative group, Silverchair, also hailing from Australia and starting at a young age.  As one of Australia’s fastest growing names Taberah has opened for the likes of Paul Di’Anno (Iron Maiden), Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper/Onslaught) and Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest/Yngwie Malmsteen), but it was being hand picked by Lemmy to open for Motorhead that really stands out in the resume.  Self described as “heavy metal played with the spirit of rock and roll” and citing influences ranging from and including AC/DC, Queen, Motorhead,
Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, their extensive touring schedule and entertaining live shows has garnered them a reputation as a “must see” band.  I'm not sure where the band took their inspiration for the name and I certainly do not profess to know much about such subject matter but here's what I was able to garner from some quick internet searching:  according to The Book of Numbers, book four of the Hebrew Bible, Taberah, which means "burning" is a place that the Israelites stopped at during their Exodus from Egypt.  After tiring of their constant complaining God set fire among them.

Necromancer is their second release and it follows 2011's début album The Light of Which I Dream.  I cued up the digital download for play whilst performing some other tasks and chores.  Immediately I was hooked and drawn in by the chunky bass lines and the larger than life guitar riffs leading the charge on the opening cut, "2012".  "Dying Wish" is up next continuing the assault and found me neglecting the tasks at hand as I got deeper into the Taberah sound.  The aforementioned influences can clearly be heard throughout, but the music is certainly flavoured with a real Euro/power metal taste as well.  "Burning in the Moonlight" showcases a catchy chorus guaranteed to have you humming long after the song fades away.  The title track, "Necromancer", keeps things going at high speed including a great vocal harmony and I noticed that of the eleven tracks included here, most are well over four minutes in length with half of them over five minutes as opposed to the rather short standard of three and a half minutes that is found on many of today’s outputs.  "Warlord" covers a popular theme for Taberah with battles and war while "Don’t Say You’ll Love Me" starts out a little softer before picking up as it moves along in probably the weakest cut on the album in my opinion at least.  Next up we have "For King And Country", beginning rather ominously and is another battle themed song that is definitely a winning representation of the album.  The 1:49 minute long instrumental, "One Goon Bag Later", in my opinion could have easily been omitted from the collection and does nothing for me aside from providing a handy insult to use on my friends……"Hey Goon Bag, you going to the show tonight?"........and so forth.  Following that, however, is the abso-fucking-lutely awesome "The Hammer of Hades" easily my favourite song but, unfortunately is the lone track under the four minute mark. "My Dear Lord" is also a stellar composition and the longest at over six minutes while the album closer of "Burn" adds to the three-song punch in the gut finale that really leaves you wanting more from Taberah........hhhmmmm, do I sense a trip to Australia in the future?


The Meister

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