Talanas - Reason & Abstract EP
Self Release
Gothic Death Metal
3 songs (19:20)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jaime
Hey! They sampled the intro to Curse You All Men!! But an Emperor worship band this is not. Made up of a fair few members of the London scene such as Interlock and Adastreia, Talanas are somewhat hard to classify. At their core is a pulsing death metal heart that stretches out with a few little gothic, black and industrial touches that reflect upon the band members' legacies.

Starting things off is Diaphora with THAT intro. Up front and in full force are the vocals that have a crystal clear delivery over the top of some fairly groovy death metal before going all gothic with clean guitars and vocals. It kind of happens very suddenly, and while it does maintain the feel of the song a little the energy from the intro dies out despite the chorus being in a similar vein. Not that the song is bad, but it's just a little odd to have such a change of pace so early in the song. Things do pick up again though with the middle section thundering forward before the clean verse pops up again. There are a couple of nods to Akercocke in here too with the sparse use of keyboards and the little spoken word parts which are nice little flourish. The song is alright on the whole, but could do with a bit more oomph. Second track Pray Speed The Fever is more groovy death metal again, it sort of reminds me of Martriden's The Art of Death Infernal, that bounces forwards with the strum und drang that modern death metal bands tend to employ. The chorus is, again, a clean part and it sucks the life from the track again but doesn't hang around for too long. There is an excellent part nearer the end where the keyboards come in that adds a bit more soul and life to the songs that the band are somewhat lacking really. Indeed, the last 2 minutes or so are excellent and allow the band to show their own character beyond using those clean parts.

Aorta is the final track up for grabs and the longest here. It starts with a clean guitar that's a bit like something from Tool's workshop before a heavily processed and pretty cool sounding lead line glides over the top of it before the song proper kicks off. It's slower than the other two but keeps in with that sort of death metal from before. The clean vocal parts work better here as they don't bring the song to a halt as such, and the sections between and after them are excellent in keeping the track moving. The keyboards are a let loose a bit more and the give the song a bit more character and atmosphere that Diaphora and Pray Speed The Fever were missing and really needing. The lead up to the solo and the solo itself are both excellent as well, bringing the song to a close in a fairly grand fashion.

I think that the album suffers from a case of being over produced. The mix sounds a little flat and compressed to my ears and the drums are far too pristine and as such it leaves the music a bit soulless and grey. The clean vocals aren't bad, but they don't really fit this genre. They're a little too weepy and wispy and could do with a bit more balls for lack of a better term. The growling vocals are fantastic though. For a band that are just getting off the ground it's pretty impressive, it's not often that you get bands who have their first self release suffering from over production as opposed to shite production, but they need to have some sort of feeling or atmosphere in their music. If they follow on from this using Aorta as a starting point then they'll no doubt get there.
Killing Songs :
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