Tantal – Ruin (2018)

Tantal

Ruin

Sleaszy Rider Records

I wasn’t sure what kind of sound to expect from Tantal and judging by the cover, I was expecting some kind of neoclassical power/thrash, kind of like Kamelot. It just seemed like the kind of cover that would entail a dark sort of metal with thrash and deathy bits, which was almost what opener “Constant Failure” lead up to with its mixture of electronica, groove riffs and female fronted vocals. The deathy bits were more or less a short couple of bursts related to harsh vocal, which I thought would have been spread throughout the album, but that isn’t the kind of band that Tantal are. Instead, what I’m getting here is essentially a type of modern groove metal with electronic bits, more comparable to Evanessence and Lacuna Coil, rather than the kind of neoclassical pomp I was expecting. It’s not bad, with “Denial” coming off as a radio ready cut right out of the park, showing exactly what they’re here to achieve and how they can definitely meld with the western market, if the western market actually cared (it doesn’t, at least as far as mainstream mags are concerned).

“Torn Inside” allows for a brush of heaviness coupled with some nice leads, and I think fans of Tremonti/Alterbridge might like the kind of thump going on here as it certainly has that modern downtuned feel we’re all aware of by this time. However, something needs to be said about the solo quality on this album, as first of all – it does feature solo guitar solos (albeit short) and they’re actually worth noting. “Drained” is another great example of this, apart from its catchy nature throughout. “Torpid” is almost like a ballad, though there are touches of technicality here and there within the guitar playing that might make a few tech-death heads twitch their ears in interest, but the guitar solo section here is much better than anything going on in the background. Of the band’s two axemen, one of these guys is quite fucking skilled and that seems to show with each cut on this album. “A Hopeful Lie” may as well have the same descriptor, because once again the listener is being faced with some fantastic fretwork, the kind that might move this act out of “girlfriend band” territory and into something that might actually attract a barrage of listeners, which is always a good thing. After all, we make music so that people can listen to it, and not just certain niches (even though that’s what happens).

More or less, fans of modern hard rock with slight metal infusions will find something to like here. If you’re more into Lacuna Coil than Nightwish and prefer thick, downtuned grooves with the occasional harsh vocal effort and some unexpectedly mind-bending solos, then you might just find something to like here. If you’ve got to have extreme metal, I would have to recommend passing on this one, but Tantal will certainly appeal to those looking for accessible music with saccharine choruses and more punch than I might have expected. It’s a good mixture of metal and hard rock, so I will definitely give it credit where credit’s due. If you’re still on the fence, you can give it a listen at the link below.

(10 Tracks, 48:00)

7/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

7.0

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