Ready to conquer the world…
Released on 27 April 2018 and reviewed by Angie K
It wasn’t that long ago when heavy metal (and any Western music in general) was prohibited in what was then the Soviet Union. Once Perestroika was underway and rock became validated as officially allowed and “normal”, many talented musicians (working underground until then) had a lot of catching up to do to show the world that the music they create is as worthy as that of any other band. I was very pleased to hear that yet another heavy band, Tiavara, has added their name to the endless list of talents originating from Russia who have the potential to conquer the world.
In promotional press materials, Tiavara is classified as a melodic metal band. The guys themselves characterise their own music as experimental metal/avant-garde metal, and this seems about right. Their latest release, Delusional Tales of Grand Intentions, is not typical melodic/symphonic/progressive metal (if there is anything typical for this kind of music which by definition is supposed to be unconventional). Tiavara takes the genre to another, not so well explored level. This is where melodic metal meets classical thrash, and does so very tastefully. A number of signature thrash headbanging episodes can be heard in tracks such as ‘Serenade of a Leech’, ‘Celestial Dance’, ‘When Silence Reigns’, and ‘Faces’.
Another characteristic trait of the band is use of classic male leading vocal. As common as this is nowadays, it is slightly unusual to hear a man singing in an opera manner (bearing in mind the popularity of female led bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Tarja, etc.). This gets mixed up with belching vocals that are so typical in thrash metal, and the combination of these doesn’t sound weird or unnatural. The two types of singing complement each other in the context of this slightly experimental music combining the two genres into an amalgamation of melodic, yet really hard at times, and rather unpredictable, music.
Another strength of this album is intros. Great riffs, perfect melodies and composition make Tiavara the masters of intros (‘Serenade of a Leech’ being the apogees of this talent, and other examples being ‘Amongst the Stars (beautiful romantic riff) and ‘Celestial Dance’).
The album as a whole is interesting and manages to keep the listener’s attention. A signature track is ‘‘Faces’ – beautiful guitar riff followed and merged with classical head banging metal drum and bass work. Great shredding, lead vocal and belching vocal in the background, as well as the varying themes, keep you interested. The band also manages to avoid another danger of this genre: overdoing it and becoming monotonous. A bit surprisingly, they have decided to even make a hint to traditional Russian motifs (in ‘Serenade of a Leech’): perhaps to remind us of their origins, which otherwise couldn’t be identified due to the cosmopolitan nature and sound of their music.
Not untypical for this genre (“Listen to the meaning before you judge the screaming” syndrome), Tiavara have serious lyrics. In their words, ‘Celestial Dance’ is a protest against seeing the world in absolutes. It talks about accepting people through understanding both their flaws and virtues. What else they sing about? Put the CD on and find out for yourselves.
- Among the Stars
- Celestial Dance
- Not a Hero
- Serenade of a Leech
- Son of a Man (bonus)
- The Empty Sky
- When Silence Reigns