Taberah – Necromancer
Reviewed by Kevin Hathaway
Hailing from Australia but playing a very European brand of power metal (I would have thought they were one of the “happier” German bands like Freedom Call), Taberah sticks to its guns and makes a very traditional and fun album with Necromancer. Leagues better than the bullocks I’ve been reviewing lately, but still rather derivative, it’s worth at least a few spins if you dig this bouncy, hyper-melodic style of power metal. It’s pretty obvious these young lads had fun making this album and it rubs off on the end result, with energetic performances and catchy hooks abounding.
The only real drawback of this work its derivative nature, which helped it get lost in the mountain of ambitious and stellar power metal last year. But there’s nothing wrong with a formula that works, especially one with this much effort put into it. “2012” kicks things off with a bass-n-drums intro (aww yeah) that dives into a song about the apocalypse “predicted” by the Mayan calendar – wait, that had come and gone before this album was even released, and the topic is just as laughable now. Couldn’t they have picked a timelier lyrical theme to kick things off? This album was released in September of last year, nearly a year after the whole 2012 thing. Ah well, it’s still a pretty fun opener despite all that, with its gang vocals in the infectious chorus (“The sky is falling! The mountains tumble down, 2012!”). “Burning In the Moonlight” is far and away the best song on here though, being everything a power metal song should be from beginning to end; melodic high-energy guitars, an instantly sing-along chorus, and a to-the-point structure that keeps it from feeling too long or too short. I also love the piano bit halfway through the guitar solo, the theatricality of it makes me smile for some reason.
One thing I found odd though was how “dark” some of the lyrics get on Necromancer, especially considering the happy atmosphere evoked throughout. “2012” is about the apocalypse, which honestly is nothing new, although the line about “The book of God” being “void, you can’t deny it now” admittedly raised an eyebrow. But “Burning In the Moonlight” is about a hunt for a witch that leads to one… well, burning in the moonlight. Pleasant mental image. And the title track, if the title itself wasn’t a giveaway, is about bringing back the dead – by way of virgin sacrifice. I don’t think even Powerwolf’s touched on half this stuff and it just makes me feel uncomfortable bobbing my head nonchalantly when the line “Sacrificed is the virgin, now my offering made, Her blood falls to the earth, on this ground where he lays” is uttered. The second half of the album is considerably more lighthearted (lyrically) than the first, but it’s also a bit less interesting musically (though “The Hammer of Hades” is a punchy and energetic number, as is “My Dear Lord”).
I highly doubt Necromancer will make people re-update their top albums of the year if they haven’t looked into it already, but it’s a safe and fun bet for power metal fans (a few lyrics aside), with boundless energy from a band with a bit of potential in it yet. Taberah may not have completely won me over with Necromancer, but I’ll be looking out for them in the future.
3.25 // 5