Recommended Aussie Band:Tamerlan Empire | Sydney Symphonic Black Metal | Listen

Album Reviews : Taberah – Welcome To The Crypt

By on June 9, 2016

Welcome to the Crypt Taberah‘Welcome To The Crypt’, the new EP from Tasmania’s Taberah is in one word eclectic. At once familiar, and then wholly foreign; ‘Welcome To The Crypt’ treads grounds previously tread, and then those roads less explored. Kicking things off with a driving, memorable riff that instantly has you hooked, “Crypt” is a rolling piece of traditional heavy metal beauty, akin to the best Iron Maiden songs you can think of. If “Crypt” has one flaw, however, it’s that the rhythm stays mid-tempo throughout and could be perceived to be a little repetitive at parts, but it’s honestly a nitpicky gripe, and will likely have little effect on your overall enjoyment of the track. It does boast some awesome, catchy lyrics, however! And that tasty guitar solo after the bridge… mint! Welcome to the Crypt, indeed.

“Requiem Of The Damned”, a 2016 re-recording of the song of the same name originally off their 2011 debut album, ‘The Light Of Which I Dream’, is a high energy gem. Reflecting the revitalised energy Taberah have had instilled in their music since the release of their critically acclaimed second album, ‘Necromancer’ (2013), the drums are tighter, the vocals are more refined, and Taberah feel even more tight-knit and in-sync with one another as a group. The chorus feels that much more engaging, and as with “Crypt”, the guitar solo is again one of those areas in which Taberah excel. Coupling interesting phrasing with strong melody, the song builds and builds, maintaining a mid-tempo pace throughout, but feeling as if it’s driving you through this awesome metal vortex. It’s a fresh take that demonstrates the ever-growing talents of the Tasmanian metallers.

“Battle For The Sun” is probably one of, if not the best, local Aussie collaboration you’ll hear in 2016. From the opening seconds alone where you’re met with this gorgeously pitched guitar solo, “Battle For The Sun”, amusingly labelled with the featuring subheading of “Some Mates”, these mates include the talents of Lord Tim and Mark Furtner (both of LORD), Joe Haley (Psycroptic), David Van Pelt (Divine Ascension), Stu Marshall (Death Dealer, Empires Of Eden), and Brendan Farrugia (Envenomed). With a guest roster like that, how could it not be anything but awesome? Featuring a myriad of shredding and overall musicianship that made this reviewer smile with glee for a whole 5 minutes, this is simply a track that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. It’s a ride!

“Folklord” really caught me off guard. An acoustic cover of “Warlord” (off ‘Necromancer’) done in the vein of Simon & Garfunkel, this song was simply a joy to listen to from start to finish. It’s funny with this record, I never would have expected Taberah’s music to work this well as acoustic songs, but the transition is seamless, and had you not known better, you could be forgiven thinking Taberah had always been a predominantly acoustic band. They pull it off with style and substance. Taberah seem comparable in this respect to Blind Guardian, in the sense that they can produce songs that hit as hard and fast as a battering ram, but then can slow to a melodious calm just as easily – and moreover, do so genuinely. The harmonics and the backing chorus is outstanding here. I’d be keen to see even more of this side of Taberah in the future.

“Alice’s Requiem” is a standout of this EP for me for a few reasons. Firstly is it another reimagining of “Requiem Of The Damned”, but the spin to this version is that it is an acoustic track also. Inspired by the likes of Alice In Chains (hence the track name), I’m going to be honest and offer what may be a controversial decision, and say that this version of the song has quickly become my favourite version of it. Not only does it put on full display the growing vocal talents of frontman/guitarist Jonathon Barwick, but it showcases the musical versatility Taberah have to offer, as well as a welcome change from the traditional heavy stylings you’d expect with this band. In term of the lyrics, it actually works incredibly well as a slower, mellow song. I found myself reminded me of the best HammerFall ballads.

Rounding out the record is “Blueschild”, a dirty blues cover of their song “Stormchild” (off ‘The Light Of Which I Dream’). Opening with a paced blues rhythm, a backing lick, and the unexpected notes of a harmonica (but one that was most welcomed!), we’re soon met with female backing vocalists singing in a choral style. Here, once again, Taberah showcase their versatility as a group. Their blues track is utterly convincing. The whole time listening through “Blueschild”, I had this mental image of the Taberah guys sitting in the middle of a dusty old bar – bar stools beneath them on a creaky stage, acoustic guitars in their hands – in the middle of the Mississippi Delta. They pull off the blues style whole-heartedly and give their all to it. The production value on this track alone is worth picking up the EP for. A pleasant mix of Southern twang and soulful rhythm, this song is one of the best tracks I’ve heard all year from an Australian band. Something that I’m sure would have done the likes of Muddy Waters proud.

Each member of Taberah has something of merit to contribute to this record, and each member equally demonstrate here the many talents they have as individual parts of the band. Together, ‘Welcome to the Crypt’ shows a band at their prime, collectively building off a decade’s worth of experience. A band who continue to surprise and impress me. And, as mentioned, over the ten years (as ‘Welcome To The Crypt’ will show), they have not wasted a single year of it.

About

Jonathon is an aspiring fantasy/sci-fi novelist and music journalist. Thanks to the influence of the music he grew up with, he has always possessed a keen interest in metal and rock. He is also a huge fan of mythology, legend, and folklore from all across the world. You should follow him on Twitter.