What with the day job, studying, having some form of social life and preparing myself for Bloodstock, I have been neglecting the reviews part of the site for a week or so. So, I thought I’d write one today. Yay!
I’ve chosen to review Talanas’ “The Waspkeeper” for a number of reasons. The first of which is that over the past year (ish – I don’t know, I have very little concept of time), I’ve become rather hooked on it. Another reason is that it’s Friday… and, for reasons unknown, I always find myself listening to this album on a Friday. It sets me up for the weekend nicely.
Britain has been producing some top notch metal recently and Talanas are right at the top of the pile as far as I’m concerned. Everything about this album screams awesomeness. Now, I know I tend to over-use the word ‘awesome’, but I really do think that on this occasion, it’s valid. Everything that these guys do is brilliant – the musicianship, the vocals, the composition. It all makes me a very happy bunny indeed.
Talanas play Progressive Extreme Metal and it does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s extreme (in places), it’s most definitely metal and it’s… er… progressive. Talanas refuse to follow any particular formula when it comes to writing and this really works to their advantage. Rather than concerning themselves with the idea that a chorus needs to follow a verse or a guitar solo should be inserted into a specific point, the band allow the songs to take on a life of their own. The result is a collection of tracks that sound like they’ve evolved naturally over time, rather than having been written for a specific purpose. A track that shows this off perfectly is the mesmerising “Messaline”.
“The Waspkeeper” takes on a number of different tones – at times it’s brutal and savage, at others calm and soothing. Sometimes a bizarre, yet pleasurable, intense mixture of the two.
Talanas remind me a lot of Akercocke (particularly Akercocke’s last couple of albums) and, as far as I’m concerned, this is a very good thing. I do miss the ‘cocke (nope, the Akercocke/cock joke is never going to get old – sorry folks!). But, with that said, they’re not a direct clone. This band realises that influences are exactly that – influences. And, besides, why would a band like Talanas need to be a carbon copy of someone else, when they clearly have more than a few ideas of their own?
So, in conclusion, this album is good. Pant-wettingly good. So good that I want to run away with it and have little baby “Waspkeepers”. Ok, that’s it for this review… I need some alone time…
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