REVIEW: TANTARA – BASED ON EVIL

Reviewed by Bec Hennessy
Lightning fast guitar solos? Check.  Punishing double kicks? Check. Fast, thrash metal riffs sprawling 6 to 10 mins? Check. Tantara are unashamedly 80’s thrash metal and proud.

Hailing from Norway, and first coming into recognition around 2009, they are not only relatively young in band years but the band members themselves are all early 20’s. Which makes this debut even more impressive.

Title track ‘Based on Evil’ wastes no time in setting the scene.  A churning guitar riff quickly giving way to its fast thrashy cousin, all the while kept in line with those thundering drums. The lead singer’s raspy screech railing against the killing of the planet (Thrash metal for the 99%?).  There are brief respite from the onslaught for numerous soaring guitar solos.

It’s not all hard and fast. ‘Mass Murder’ begins with a jangling instrumental that fades into a chugging riff before the guitar solo brings back the double kick.  Pattering rain and thunder underlying some of the slow menace of ‘The Debate’.

Apparently this is a concept album; most of the lyrics are inscrutable, so apart from the song titles you may miss it. It is most evident on probably my favourite track ‘Prejudice of Violence’ which contains an excerpt of the George Bush September 11 speech. Ominous atmospheric noise creeps up on you, before resuming the thrash assault. Leading into a sprawling 9:29 minutes of impassioned screamed vocals and breakneck speed guitar solos. The aforementioned Dubya intones over the breakdown instrumental. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the winding jams of prog/stoner rock, but the outro solo really makes this song for me.

These young Norwegians more than competently succeed in keeping old school thrash alive. For fans of the genre I doubt you will be disappointed.

7/10

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