Roundup Review: Earthtone9 + The Old Wind + Taunted

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Reviews by Paul H Birch

Once heavy metal bid the twelve bar blues goodbye it sped off down countless creative highways. For those of us who stayed close to home, it’s still important to step outside our comfort zone and visit roads less travelled once in a while, explore different musical styles and if it was worthwhile write a short postcard to share those experiences with others…

  • Earthtone9 – IV
  • The Old Wind – Feast on Your Gone
  • Taunted – 9 Sins

 

Earthtone9 – IV

Returning after a 12 year absence with IV, Nottingham’s Earthtone9 pummel you into submission, driven by a bass with a permanent hard-on. When not proselytising in a grunted screaming rap Karl Middleton emits an impassioned classic pop voice sweet enough that the band could almost be a hardcore version of Savage Garden. Amidst the raging rock of songs like ‘Preacher’ there are unexpected shifts in tone and atmospheric rhythms best exemplified in the 10 minute long menacing progressive framework of ‘Occam’s Razor’, wry lyrical intelligence on ‘The Sound of the Engine Turning’ and partial anthems with the likes of ‘Horizon’s End’. An unexpected if uneasy pleasure: something to write home about.

Earthtone9 – IV7 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. March of the Yeti
  2. Preacher
  3. Sea of Blades
  4. Andersion
  5. God Cloud
  6. Our Last Sunrise
  7. Harsh Light
  8. The Sound of the Engine Turning
  9. Horizon’s End
  10. Occam’s Razor

 

The Old Wind – Feast on Your Gone

Featuring several ex-members of Swedish black/thrash metal band Breach for its live line-up, while Feast on Your Gone is credited to The Old Wind it’s pretty much a solo concept by Tomas Liljedahl. From silence, a child’s voice speaks and ‘In Fields’ begins to unfold by way of a slowly marched chord progression with minimal tortured guttural singing ensuing in mournful endeavour. And so it goes for each track featured; sometimes the chords will be played in arpeggio form at others in a raw thrashing dirge, occasionally oscillating, infrequently diverging and it is left to the syncopated preciseness of the drumming to impose or imply melody, most notably on the title track. Set aside the lyrics have a cold pagan poetic elegance that personally I’d have had narrated clearly, allowing the music to ruminate underneath.

The Old Wind – Feast on Your Gone4 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. In Fields
  2.  I’m Dead
  3.  Raveneye
  4.  The Old Wind
  5.  Spears of a Thousand
  6.  Reign

 

Taunted – 9 Sins

Third album in, San Francisco Bay Area trash/speed metal band Taunted sing about having sex with demons and watching dead dolls do even more unthinkable things. Their old school Alice Cooper schlock lyrics aside, they thrash down determinedly to establish their core sound then let rip with several more melodic Judas Priest style arrangements, that suit Jacques Serrano’s voice well. Presumably each track is intended to denote a particular sin (two more than your traditional seven deadly ones) but I just hear assorted songs about demon-ghost manifestations and the horrors they’re going to do; musically it mostly works with a particularly strong guitar solo during Dead Rolls’ and a variety of epic riffage throughout ‘Tauntd2’ .

Taunted – 9 Sins6 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Seven Colors
  2.  Laceration
  3. Written in the Flames
  4. Dead Roll
  5. Room 237
  6. Sinners Language
  7. Tower of Hellion
  8. Chaos Theory
  9. Tauntd2