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Album Review: Taberah – Sinner’s Lament

Album Review: Taberah – Sinner’s Lament

Reviewer –  Craig Grant:-  Taberah are a four piece traditional metal band from Tasmania, Australia who take their influences from the Darkness, Queen, Maiden and Sabbath. You can hear them all, but you can also hear Australian band LORD underpinning at lot of their work. I had managed to neglect  Taberah until January 2016 when I caught up with them supporting Nightwish on their Australian tour. Somehow I had missed Taberah in support of Motorhead, DiAnno and Ripper but can only put that down to pre-loading before these gigs and that these venues have bars too damn close to the action. The thing I took away from seeing Taberah that night with Nightwish was the fact that they had infected the medieval-metal crowd to the point that they joined in as one during a WarPigs interlude.

Leaving the gig that night I got my hands on the back catalogue, The Light of Which I Dream, released in 2011, and Necromancer in 2013. The first album created the sound and the second album perfected it. After picking up what appeared to be my 10th Taberah shirt I also picked up the EP, Welcome to the Crypt, which although good didn’t progress the band in any new direction. To be fair though the band had already being playing some of these songs in their set so the EP filled a gap rather than evolved the sound.

So here we have the new LP, Sinner’s Lament, which will be managed by the band in Oz and NZ but will be released by Killer Metal Records (Europe) and  Rock Stakk Records (Japan) in those regions. I expect that Japan will go mental for this. I on the other hand dipped the digital needle on track one with some trepidation as I was concerned that this wouldn’t push the sound forward.

The opening track, Sinner’s Lament, starts with a guitar intro that is straight off Queen II before charging into the Taberah signature gallop. I’m not hearing anything new, but that intro had me excited for a moment but it all seems fairly standard, like an LP to the EP. But about half way through this eight minute monster the Queen reference continues with the layered orchestration and an interesting twist in the vocal. The guitar work is blinding and all of the gang-vocals and chugging riffs are there but this is Taberah on a different level. Mood lifted.

Wicked Way is very much standard Taberah but the next track Harlott is an over-and-done-with quick win. It’s simple, stripped back and shows a band that have improved musically, taking it to a whole new level. Horizon  is very much like Wicked Way but has a face melting solo half way through that is backed up by an intricate little ear bleeder at the end. So far, so good. Defo it’s a Taberah album but I’m hearing enough nuance to tell me that the band has taken it up a notch.

Next up Child of the Storm and Dance of the Damned are fairly standard Taberah tracks that will take on a life of their own live, as will Crypt, which was on the last EP. Any concerns that I had that Taberah aren’t really pushing this thing too hard are wiped away by the monster track that is The Final March of Man and it is one of the best tracks that I have heard from any Oz band in a long, long time. It simply goes over the top, then finds a new top, before climbing that and so on. At just under eight minutes it is both magnificent and utterly mental while being completely pretentious and self-absorbed causing a massive grin to appear across your face. If we had a checklist of metal must does for the bands’ influencers, then we would have every check box ticked. There is a bit of Dungeon in there as well, perhaps because it was mixed by Lord Tim, or perhaps it’s on the metal-todo-checklist. Unsure. What I am sure of is that if Taberah put this out live then it will take this thing to a stellar level. The solo, or the layers of solo, are ridiculous and preposterous. Even after three minutes of riffing and guitar head-to-heading it’s still not enough. This is the Tasmanian Rime. Awesome.

We start the album close out with Heal Me which is again back in the standard chugging Taberah mould, but to paraphrase a famous quote, the only thing that could follow The Final March of Man is the national anthem.

That takes us to the closer which is a metal homage and the track is Hotel California. I was brought up on metal and believe that the Eagles is music to sedate inmates and the elderly in care homes. It’s Dad music and from another era with wax records and eight tracks. There is an Australian fad with the cover and occasionally you get a corker. I saw LORD do the Farnham setlist as well as an awkward Kylie cover. Just the other week Dead Letter Circus celebrated their tenth year by singing The Voice to close the set. We were all pranked by Perth progsters Voyager when they cranked out Darude’s Sandstorm during a support spot with the Deftones. Then today I get the new Mammoth Mammoth album and they have also covered Kylie. I mean, OK, its coolio but really? Yeah, but nah, on the Eagles.

Awesome couple of tracks on this release. Great album overall and thoroughly enjoyed this. Would love to see Taberah get out and tour beyond Australia and refine this new direction they are taking with huge songs. They are a live band and that’s where this album will come alive. Get out and support Taberah.

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