Review by Tomek on September 5, 2011.
It’s been a while since I have heard a new band that simply caused my jaw to drop. Many times and many bands got close to it, but no one pulled all the way through. Tank86 released two EP’s prior to the album “Rise”, they started Rising Magma traveling festival to promote themselves and likewise bands and that idea turned into Rising Magma Records to promote and distribute worldwide and to release other bands as well. They got all the good things going for them and with “Rise” it will only get better.
I am simply amazed by how well everything they’ve done on “Rise” works together to create this instrumental Stoner/Doom/Drone masterpiece. Some of you may open your eyes wider when I say “masterpiece”, but I simply cannot find a better word. From the opener ‘Barrosphere’ to the last sounds of ‘Dying Mountain’, Tank86 doesn’t let go. Guitars are powerful and chunky, with riffs that pull you in, engage on all levels and simply pound you with heaviness. They’re going from slow and crushing to even slower, moody and majestic, to than speed up for a while to let you do some proper headbanging. Just when you think they are going to move into an instrumental soundscape or progressive passage another magnificent galloping combination of riffs intertwined with gorgeous solo strikes. When others would continue ‘droning’ in the same matter Tank86 turns in completely different direction hitting from a different angle. Drumming and bass are an exquisite example of unconventional melodic lines and talented low end artistry that demand a couple of listens with the attention steered just for those two. As much as guitar driven the album is, it is the drumming that intensifies the pleasure of listening, it is the bass that pleasantly rumbles on the low side. Changing melodies and tempos or their scale or intensity comes with ease to those guys and doesn’t feel forced or unnatural. It feels very fresh and energetic and more importantly it is constant throughout the whole album. Absence of vocals is still something that makes me wonder if that was the right choice, but on the other hand, the more I listen to “Rise”, the more I think that vocals would be kind of in the way of this instrumental climax.
I didn’t expect this album to be such a solid slab of fresh, meaty, tasty instrumental excellence. “Rise” is their debut album and with 50 minutes of instrumental metal you would expect to find a dull moment, but not with Tank86. There is so much to this album that I will probably digest it for the next couple of months. But it’s OK; winter is right around the corner, I’ll have time.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.6 out of 10