Friday, August 21, 2009
Tacheless - Freiheit
Label: Morlock Records
Release Type: CD
I had no expectations when I picked this up. My first impression was that everything must have fallen into place when these guys were in the studio. The production is quality, so you can crank it up without hearing a load of static. The sound guy gave each instrument plenty of room to breathe (which is fantastic because I am starting miss bass in extreme metal). And The end result is pure class - it's more what you'd expect from a big band on a major label.
In term of the music Tacheless sound like natural thrashers playing grind-influenced crust. Every self-respecting Chainsaw Justice reader should know what crust is. But even if you can't define it, you'll know it when you hear it. At times it sounds like the band held a séance and channeled the ghost of Disrupt when writing Freiheit. Their tone and distortion has that "punk band playing metal" feel and the album is virtually wall-to-wall crust riffs. This barrage is well augmented with copious doses of blast beats, authentic thrash sections and, in proper places (yet never overused) blisteringly quick death metal riffs.
Behind the mics we get a rasp-fest: a hardcore rasper and a harsh, close to death metal rasper. Sometimes they work together in a chorus; sometimes they trade off line for line. For the most part they divide up the verses and wear out their vocal chords. The big kicker though is the bassist. Between the fact that you can hear the bass and that it has something to say, I would argue it's the bass-work that elevates Tacheless above all the other crusty grinders out there.
Among other things, what we get out of Freiheit is our money's worth. The band served up 18 songs (17 and a hidden cover) with a 39:51 running time. Four of those minutes are the dreaded hidden-track silence but their balls-to-the-walls cover of Sodom's "Sodomy and Lust" makes up for it in full. I mean, Sodom with blastbeats? How can you go wrong? For me, the stretch covering tracks 2-7 makes the album. There are head banging riffs all over the track list; there are prime examples of how to write crust songs later in the track list; there is even the thrashtastic "Waiting For A New Day"; but I would have paid full price for an EP containing songs two through seven. Of those, three stand out the most:
"To Move A Mountain" starts out with one bulldozer of a grind riff - and returns to it a few times down the road, sandwiching it between standard Tacheless crust. We also get vocal trade-offs and our first taste of what the bassist has to say.
"Freiheit" is a worthy title song. It starts out with, and features, a crossover bass line. The guitar riff layered on top of it is as gritty and fast as crust gets. The combination creates an intensity that rips you up and carries you to the end of the song. Fittingly, the next track opens with a sample that serves as a nice "cool down".
"Fucker" fucking grinds! This is a nice three-part song. It starts out at a fierce pace with a series of grindcore riffs; drops into one headbanger of a chorus; then returns to grind for the finale. Proper grind like a lot of bands would like to pull off.
My only issue with crust is that it all starts to sound the same after 20 minutes. By inserting grindcore riffs, proper bass work and plenty of thrash, Tacheless counter this issue well. And did I mention the sick Sodom cover? When all is said and done we have ourselves a solid album with good replay value. You are encouraged to check it out for yourself. If you disagree, leave a comment; we'd like to hear why. You are equally encouraged to buy the real thing here.