Tuesday 27 January 2015

TANK86 - Obey (Album Review)

 Album Type: Full-Length
Date Released: 30/1/2015
Label: Rising Magma(CD);
 Lighttown Fidelity(LP)

Obey – Tracklisting:

1. Vault
2. Obey
3. Piledriver
4. Conquistador
5. Tarhunt
6. Void
7. Gilgamesh
8. Revolt

The Band:

Joost Kruiswijk - guitars
Harold Aling - guitars
Jochum van Weert - bass guitar
Rogier Berben - drums


Dutch heavy instrumentalists Tank86 are sure brightening up the start of 2015 for me. I won't go through the usual spiel about my love for vocal-less music, but holy hell, this is fantastic! And true to their name, they are just as punishing as a tank. I have to admit these guys were an unknown entity to me prior to listening to 'Obey', but better late than ever, right? Now I have something interesting exploring to do. So, what's the deal with this album? Well, read on folks and I'll do my best to explain.

Not beating around the bush, 'Vault' pummels me to a bloody pulp with no intention of letting go. After a somewhat chaotic yet beautiful start, Tank86 hits warp speed, shredding me to slices with some awesome riffs before letting the drums mash me up. The title track follows much in the same vein as it's predecessor and gives no respite at all. Slightly different in structure than the opener, 'Obey' still slays and by adding more tempo changes, they set the record straight showing how things should be done. As 'Piledriver' kicks in Tank86 clearly presents their trademark... putting brutal riff upon brutal riff while the bass guitar and the drums aim for solar plexus. Whether they go straight for the throat or gradually build up a song, they are amazingly relentless. And why haven't I heard of them before? Slowing things down a bit on 'Conquistador' which is the most diverse song on the album. After all, they utilize a saxophone and a trumpet on this one! Yes, you heard me right but don't fret because it works great. Baying eerie, haunting solos on top of the heavy music, this strange collaboration makes perfect sense despite being seemingly odd. Subsequently, the outcome is a beautiful song.

Slow and foreboding, 'Tarhunt' is a lurking beast with a strong vibe of old school doom. Brief bursts of punk-like tones charges the song, before reverting back to doom again with amazing riffs leading the way, with the trumpet being used towards the end to great effect. Remaining within the slower paced sphere, 'Void' is one of those brilliant songs that gradually builds up and all of a sudden you realise how crushingly heavy the tune is, despite never hitting warp speed. Emotions and atmosphere, that's all I am saying...fuck yes! 'Gilgamesh' takes over in pace setting department. Retaining the crushing part Tank86 turns it up a notch as the guitars are trading licks back and forth. And let us not forget the way Joost and Harold are harmonizing the riffs, I can't barelt contain myself when they let loose. 'Revolt' gets the honour to close this fantastic album and that's a great choice on the band's part. In lieu with it's title, the song is chaotic and in your face, just like any kind of a revolt is. Slowing gradually to come to a fading end I am left breathless wanting more. Somehow I just keep pressing play without even knowing what I am doing, 'Obey' is that great of a release.

Whatever your musical preferences are, Tank86 is most definitely a band everyone out there should check out. Why? First of all, the band members are truly great musicians but not in a show-off kind of way. Instead they use their talent to weave stories using the instruments as the storytellers. Nothing is superflous as each part included is equally important as the next one. I mean, these guys could show off left, right and centre with their technical ability but they don't. Making music that moves the listener is what they aim at...and they succeed with such ease.

Words by: Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Alfred at Kamikaze PR and Tank86 for the promo. Obey will be available to buy on CD from Rising Magma Records and Vinyl through Lighttown Fidelity.

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