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Based On Evil

INDIE RECORDINGS Nov 01st 2012
CD
119 NOK
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Sometimes trying to understand an album can be a long process involving many and in some occasions gruesome auditions when there are multiple layers to penetrate and understand what the band is trying to say. On the other hand, there are albums where a couple of CD spins are enough to tell you what is going on and safely guide your mind towards the final judgment. Well, TANTARA belong to the second category and in fact if I’d trust the press info, I wouldn’t need to listen to their debut at all. You see, the bio starts by saying that: “they have one goal. To play old school Thrash the way it once was and the way it should be”. Any questions or even objections of what TANTARA try to do with “Based On Evil”? It’s true that nowadays there are a lot of young bands claiming to be old-school and I have to say that I am starting to get bored. Even if I love the 80s, it feels kind of depressing searching the old record collection to find some inspiration to create new music. But every cloud has a silver lining and fortunately for me TANTARA is a silver lining delivering with “Based On Evil” eight reasons to bang that head that doesn’t bang. The Norse band aimed at the Bay Area Thrash scene and having listened to the album many times I’d say the experiment was successful. The high-pitched and harsh vocals by Fredrik Bjerkø have many references to HEATHEN and to the EXODUS Paul Baloff (R.I.P.) being the perfect partner in crime to the early METALLICA rhythm section and the awesome collection of riffs. The band teamed up with the famous producer Flemming Rasmussen (if you don’t know this name do your homework, please) who put everything into place wrapped in an almost live sound that comes incredibly natural and hence old school. What got me stuck with this album is that the songs are long in time duration filled with trademark Thrash chord progressions and that Punk finishing touch without lacking of melody that is strictly limited to the guitar leads. Of course, there is a lot of snare action and signature tempo breaks that carry that US 80s drive. Apart from the aforementioned influences, “The Debate” brings some early OVERKILL with Blitz-esque vocals, nice clean guitar arpeggios and killer high hat sound, while the riff collection of “Human Mutation” might hide some TESTAMENT energy driven structures. TANTARA do not seem pretentious to my ears and I think this is where the success of “Based On Evil” lies; the music sounds natural and based on the number of riffs per song inspired something I think most of the Thrash reviving bands do. The long lasting guitar solos are the icing on this Thrash cake, while the tempo breaks are the perfect excuse to enter the mosh-pit and do the toxic waltz!