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Review: Tantrum – Devirginized

Tantrum is a German death metal band that formed in 1998. The band separated in 2003, but made a comeback in 2011 with 2 of the original members and 3 new members. Devirginized is the latest album complete with 5 tracks and a running time of about 23 minutes. Devirginized is set to release on September 25th of 2015 by Inverse Records.

First thing’s first: what will a band from the late 90s sound like after not putting out material in such a long time? Just like they would if it were still in the 90s. Devirginized reeks of classic death metal: stuff like old Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Possessed. It has the same underground-in-a-smoky-bar sound and production to it. The guitars’ distortion is cranked and they have a fat tone, more so on “The Way” and “Cursed in Eternity”. I think it’s cool that Devirginized has that classic sound because it shows the band has not strayed from their original vision of making pounding death metal and it has an overall genuine vibe.

You don’t have to listen far into Devirginized to get what I’m saying because you can tell by the first few tracks alone. While “Time to Fight” has a clean intro, it soon turns heavy with a riff you would expect to hear from classic metal thrash or death. The gritty vocals come in and are rather distinguishable for being so gritty. “Time to Fight” is not the heaviest song on the album, but it has a solid song structure that makes the song easy to listen to and features a distorted shredding solo while the rest of the band jams out.

“Look Further” is a pretty catchy song for what it is. It starts off one way, then goes into a heavier melody after a certain point, then it gets to the really catchy section. The last two sections are heavier than the first one, but the final section is just cool. The drums accompany the riff and Jo channels vocals from deep within his gut. There is no shredding solo, but that doesn’t mean the song is lacking.

“Rebel” features a riff that I would expect to hear from a stoner metal band, but faster and with double-bass of course, so I enjoyed that. Other than that riff, “Rebel” has more of a hardcore sound than death metal. The vocals are still gritty, but they sound like actual shouts and raw vocal chords like Jeremy Jasta without the overly edgy lyrics. This song is relatively fast-paced, has high energy, and does have a solo. I like this song more than the first track because it sounds more fun and isn’t as long as “Time to Fight.”

The best song on Devirginized is the best song to headbang to and has the best solo: “The Way.” Not only is this song more of headbanger, but it is also the song I would refer you to if you want to know what Tantrum sound like. The vocals are more guttural (like on “Look Further”) and this sounds even more like classic metal. I don’t know why, it just does Devirginized is an album that’s sort of all over the place, but “The Way” seems to tie everything together. It balances brutal with groove and the solo is melodic rather than some shredding, even though that’s cool too. Even what’s being played behind the solo is interesting, not just the main riff or something like that.

“Cursed in Eternity” is a good follow up to “The Way” and a great track to end on. “Cursed in Eternity” also carries a balance between heavy and headbanging, except with more tide tipped in the favor of heavy. “The Way” is kind of the exact balance while “Cursed in Eternity” weighs a bit more, it’s chunkier you know? When “Cursed in Eternity” strikes, it strikes hard. The palm-muted. Tremolo-picked riff plays over fast double-bass and it’s sweet. That’s the best way to describe it. There isn’t a solo, but you don’t need one to get down to this ditty.

I find Devirginized to be an interesting album. If you noticed, the songs seemed to get heavier and/or better as the album progressed. “Time to Fight” is my least favorite, but I forgot about it by the time I was done listening to Devirginized fully through. I’m not saying “Time to Fight” is bad song at all, but it just a few minor things I dislike about it and it isn’t a big deal. I don’t like the tone of the solo, and that could be because it is a shredding solo rather than something melodic like the solo on “The Way.” Then again a lot of Slayer’s solos were just distorted shredding, so why nitpick Tantrum? I also don’t like long songs, especially when the songs have simple structures. A solid song structure is a great thing to have, but it can overstay it’s welcome and I think that’s my main issue with “Time to Fight.” Other than that, Devirginized was cool. I would have liked to hear the bass more because I could not hear it at all. Listening through several times made me like the songs more and more and raised my opinion more. I would say check it out if you like old school death metal.

Rate: 7.4/10

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