|Review: Taberah - Necromancer|
Label: Dust on the Tracks Records
Year released: 2013
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: October 27, 2013
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
I was interested to hear the sophomore effort from Tasmanians Taberah, and was really surprised when the disc came careening through my letter box. Prior to hearing the album I'd checked out opener "2012" and standout track "The Hammer Of Hades", and upon listening to the final product it's a bit of shame nothing on the album can quite stand up to these tracks. Fortunately Taberah are on to a good thing with their sound, and manage to remain relatively endearing throughout Necromancer.
What I particularly like about Taberah is their energy, and their crunchy guitars. Whilst I think some of the material is lacking in the way of substance the album is for the most part driving, and what they lack is certainly made up in their approach. The music across the board has a distinct fun-loving vibe, with the most blatant example "Burning In The Moonlight" sporting a chorus you won't easily shake off. The power metal elements to their sound aren't as prominent as I would have liked, and I feel their inspiration is largely drawn from classic acts such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest; you know the drill. Not a bad thing, in fact I'd say Taberah's appeal could be a little stronger than that of your average Euro power act.
Whilst the music is certainly agreeable, and some of the songs are particularly catchy, there a numerous moments throughout Necromancer where I find I could easily drop out or turn the album off. The middle of the album is particularly lacking in the way of a standout, and whilst "For King And Country" does a good enough job of getting the blood pumping it's still relatively unspectacular, with a decidedly dreary chorus. In fact, I'd say the middle on through to the latter half of the album would be almost throwaway without the punchy "The Hammer Of Hades" and "My Dear Lord". Thankfully the performances across the board are well done, and I think Jono Barwick really has some potential as a singer. The layered vocals which open "2012" particularly remind me of Threshold's Andy McDermott (see "Mission Profile"), which nets Taberah some serious bonus points in my book, although altogether I'd say his vocals feel more studied in the James Hetfield school, which certainly makes sense as he sings and plays guitar too.
On the whole, I didn't get as much enjoyment as I'd expected from Necromancer. The album is undoubtedly good enough, and there's that aforementioned endearing quality - which I think comes from their youthful approach – I just can't say I'll be coming back to this one much in the future. I definitely think Taberah have some potential; the guys can play, and clearly know how to put a song together. This time around though, I feel some the material could have been a little more focused, particularly after the first four songs, and maybe could have benefitted from some more meat on the bones. Nonetheless a good effort.
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