Taberah – Sinners Lament
Out: May 19th 2017
Taberah line up:
Jonathon Barwick | Guitar, Vocals
Myles Flood | Guitar
Dave Walsh | Bass
Tom Brockman | Drums
Founded in 2006 in the backwaters of Hobart, Tasmania, Taberah have been, by their own admission, ‘drinkin’ beers and pleasin’ ears.’ That’s a lot of VB cans and metal music, and with Sinner’s Lament being only their third full-length release, it’s been a long wait since 2013’s ‘Necromancer’. Although we were entertained by the Welcome To The Crypt EP which dropped last year (reviewed here) there’s nothing quite like Tabz in full flight. Full flight is what you get from ‘Sinner’s Lament’.
The intro to the title track the band has created multiple layers of guitar harmonies, giving the impression of demon summoning back masking. One thing it does summon is thoughts of Queen, and that influence is heard loud and clear on this album. Let’s face it, if you were to summon one of dearly departed’s rock royalty, Freddie Mercury would be high on your list. Taberah are, like most bands, a collection of influences. A dash of Helloween, a drop of Iron Maiden, a dollop of Motörhead and a bucket load of just-doing-things-their-own-way.
This album (for me at least) is a grower, not a shower and I didn’t instantly fall in love with it. It has that unmistakable Taberah sound led by vocalist/guitarist Jonathon Barwick: smooth, almost soulful at times but packs a punch as strong as his 24 inch pythons (JB dead lifts 20,000 kgs and posts the videos on Facebook to prove it). But that’s enough about the sexy ginger. As mentioned, Sinner’s Lament is unmistakably Taberah, but it’s not without surprises. The first of these appears four minutes and thirty-one seconds into the title track with the vocals of Laura Cooke. Her voice adds a beautifully haunting complexity not heard on previous releases and fits perfectly with JB’s vocals. Cooke is used sparingly throughout the album and it certainly left me wanting to hear more.
One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Taberah’s music is the harmonies. JB’s vocals aside, when his guitarist in crime Myles “Flash” Flood steps up to the microphone, they combine to create harmonies most other modern metal bands can only dream of (or are too scared to try). Taberah have created something a little bit special on each track, making every one of them a standout. They’ve managed to take all the best elements of metal and combine them to create an album of very different, yet still familiar, songs.
If I had to pick a favourite track it’d have to be ‘The Final March Of Man’. In an alternate universe where Freddie Mercury replaced Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden, the result would be this track. Not only are the vocals on point, the driving rhythm section of Tom “Bam Bam” Brockman on drums and Dave “The Doctor” Walsh on bass smash it out of the park.
I’d be remiss not to mention the surprising cover that closes out the album. Taberah take The Eagles’ classic ‘Hotel California’, send it flying into the ropes and finish with a stiff clothesline on the rebound. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and sure to be a crowd favourite when played live.
Is it too early in the year to give out a perfect score? Probably. To be fair the album isn’t perfect: it’s no heavy metal equivalent of A Night At The Opera, but it is the best damn music Taberah have ever released.
Sinner’s Lament track list:
- Sinner’s Lament
- Wicked Way
- Child Of Storm
- Dance Of The Damned
- The Final March Of Man
- Heal Me
- Hotel California