Fast-paced heavy metal enjoyment

Three albums in and Taberah still display almost the same level of wide-eyed enthusiasm as on their very first demo recordings.

It’s a naivete that is both endearing and frustrating as it does have something of a detrimental effect on my ability to fully appreciate them.

On the one hand, they have more than adequate chops and they imbibe their music with a real zest and a spirit of fun that is refreshing in the face of so much po-faced metal. On the other, their songs lean toward the generic and they have a tendency to drop absolute clunkers like “Harlott”, which is spelled with two ‘t’s like the name of the band for some reason. Without the lyrical sophistication of a Bon Scott or a Justin Hawkins, who would have turned it into amusing gutter poetry, this sounds like someone fumbling with the bra straps. Essentially, it’s Taberah’s lyrics that are again the weakest link in their songs.

Some of the lyrics are so cheesy it’s hard to take them seriously, even for a band of this style. For some that won’t matter, but three albums in a little more maturity and sophistication should be expected in the lyrical department. The thrash cover of “Hotel California” seems both audacious and misguided: it’s hard to know if it’s meant as an earnest tribute or a parody as they drop the lyrics over a race-to-the-finish-line riff and hammering drums and then play the classic solo dead straight. It’s a little bit weird.

With all that said, those who get their kicks from 80s-flavoured rock-laced power metal will again come clamouring to Taberah’s door when they get a load of Sinner’s Lament. That the old-school flavoured metal they play can be a little generic isn’t really a problem, because it’s done so well – it’s catchy and fun and well-executed, with strong lead guitar work, some chunky and rocking riffs and solid if strangely rather one-dimensional vocals, all great elements for fast-paced heavy metal enjoyment. The hard rock feel in many of the tracks puts Taberah in touch with early Judas Priest, which is never a bad thing of course, giving them a sound that makes them stand out a little. Throwing off the shackle of clunky lyrics should be their next big step.

1. Sinner’s Lament
2. Wicked Way
3. Harlott
4. Horizon
5. Child of Storm
6. Dance of the Damned
7. Crypt
8. The Final March of Man
9. Heal Me
10. Hotel California