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Album Reviews : Taberah – Necromancer

By on January 1, 2014

Taberah have certainly gotten their names out there lately, haven’t they? You can look on several Australian metal sites, Metal Obsession included, for mention of these guys and you will hear good things about them. Rightly so, but I won’t gild the lily here; reviews are always peppered with opinion and personal bias. My first encounter with Taberah was in Melbourne (I can’t remember the year, but I think it may have been 2010), opening for LORD at The Arthouse (May it rest in peace).

I found them to be rather stock in their sound, little originality, no stage presence or charisma; almost a non-event. However, it is with this in mind that it can be said that the best friend to a new band is time; time enough for growth and maturity, and it seems that Taberah have made great use of that time since the first time I saw them.  From their first album, which I found to be dull and underwhelming, to 2013’s Nercomancer there is a distinct shift towards a previously unheard intensity from Taberah, and their taming of this aspect has served them agreeably. The tracks all carry a strong, catchy and truly Rock N’ Roll tone, which settles alongside their own signature guitar work, upbeat rhythms and overall feel incredibly well.

There is something of a “bygone” sensibility to the entire album, a kind of nostalgia where you could just as easily imagine having heard this album back in the 80’s, taking its place alongside a few of the stables of that era, but the band has brought that forward, not allowing the old and played-out to mire them, as they bring their own particular, modern turn to their works. Before this becomes a lecture on sociology, it’s fair to say that People stick to the familiar; Taberah have taken that familiarity of the old school and tailored it to fit their style, and it works perfectly for them. Burning in The Moonlight would be the best example of this, carrying with it a feel of early-to-mid Iron Maiden with just a hint of Dio in there, keeping it energetic and interesting enough to not feel mundane or “heard it before”. In fact, this was the first song I was recommended, and it was for a good reason, as this style of music would be right at home in a local venue or club; and the energy is maintained, for the most part, soundly and evenly across the album itself.

From the thrashy, Manowar-esque For King & Country to the opener 2012, and even the title track, there is just as much variety on display as there is power; as made evident by the bright and prominent guitars and surging drums. “But!” I hear you cry, “Is it heavy?” Good question and that is best left unanswered; for where there is a certain, innate buoyancy within the genre of power metal, a lot of the heavy aspects tend to get left behind. Taberah have countered this little curse by bringing out their influences in hard rock, and it meets with the tenor quite well. Where as you can listen to Hammer of Hades and get a sensation of some weightlessness to it, it is not unsubstantial at all; and not so much a sacrifice of “Heavy” but more a distinction of “Pace”.

It is not “good” on the merits of it being fast, or heavy, alone. There is some significant weight and intensity, and what makes this album worth the listen is in the overall work. Hear me out; Taberah have put together quite the interesting gestalt here. The drums are good, the guitars are good, the bass is good (Props on Warlord, sweet rhythm to the whole song) and the vocals are good; and while each, individual element is good in its own right, together they go beyond that and into the realm of great! This is a band that Australia can be proud of, with their composition, production and (the ever-important) energy, varying from their ballad Don’t Say You’ll Love Me Forever to the powerful and driving My Dear Lord, to their overall zeal.

Also, speaking of “Australian”, I have to give a special mention to their instrumental piece One Goonbag Later: a neat, and somewhat poignant, if not maudlin track that bears a meditative undercurrent to it in spite of the frivolous name; it was enough to make me stroke my chin and say “I see what you did there”. Though hardly the tone-setter or centerpiece, still a good addition to an already fine album, and very telling of their roots, of which this band are unashamed; and rightly so.

Taberah’s Necromancer is a great little album, which I will be adding to my own personal stock; a step up from previous works and a full, flamboyant flaunt of fervor for the band they have become. As a big fan of Power Metal I had a moment of misgiving, in thinking I might be a bit too critical of the album, especially considering that I had no love for their prior work, but it is with Necromancer that I can sit back, take it in and happily wait and see what comes next from Taberah, and it will be with no small amount of anticipation.

Full, strong and energetic, it is an impressive example of a power rock album; being far from textbook, but staying close enough to the page where the influence and passion of the band is not lost on the listener. If you like your metal with a sturdy rock foundation and bedecked with all the filigree of bands the likes of Iron Maiden, then Taberah’s Necromancer is most certainly the album for you!

Band: Taberah
Album: Necromancer
Year: 2013
Genre: Power metal/heavy metal
Label: Dust On The Tracks
Origin: Tasmania
facebook.com/taberah.tas

Track listing:
1. 2012
2. Dying Wish
3. Burning in the Moonlight
4. Necromancer
5. Warlord
6. Don’t Say You’ll Love Me Forever
7. For King & Country
8. One Goonbag Later
9. The Hammer of Hades
10. My Dear Lord
11. Burn (Deep Purple cover)

About

Hailing from parts unknown (actually, it’s Melbourne), Tristan is a freelance writer and lover of metal, with a special place in his heart for Power and Folk metal. After playing in a number of local Melbourne metal bands, and completing his Bachelor of Arts, Tristan focuses his attention to the pursuit of writing, practicing the Liechtenauer School of swordsmanship, dabbling in Cosplay and reciting Babylon 5 quotes; in addition to hunting for a publisher for his novel. Until then, he enjoys metal, writing about metal and convincing people around his office that he is immortal and has lived for 3,000 years. (So far only the chick in HR is buying it)