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On disc: Tarabas

Das neue Land - Mike Thompson - 6 stars

Das neue Land

Das neue Land
(Trollzorn Records - 2010)

I first discovered Tarabas on Trollzorn's compilation CD, Pagan Battle Tunes Vol. 1, that featured the song Sam-Hain. This track was a decent blackened folk metal track, a little under-produced maybe, but the potential was there to see. It was therefore with great glee that I pressed play on this new album for the first time.
Das neue Land is Tarabas' second album, following 2007's Aus alter Zeit. First things to say is that the production is markedly improved over the last song I heard. The guitars sound fuller. A good start!
The album begins with a nice little acoustic intro to the title track, then the song gets heavier. Things are going well at this point but then the vocals start. Now, don't get me wrong here, the vocals aren't at all bad and there are a fair few styles used throughout the album but as soon as the singing started it reminded me of Equilibrium's Helge Stang. As much as I like Equilibrium I really don't appreciate the vocals! However, the vocals on Das neue Land are thankfully a bit more diverse with growls, clean vocals and some nice harmonies.
After the title track eventually ends Weiße Pferde hits you with a thrashy riff which is a nice touch in a folk metal band. However, this is about as unique as this album gets. Unfortunately its just full of long songs, all but three of the twelve songs are well over six minutes in length, that give you nothing but a sense of deja-vu. Its your typical German folk metal album really, albeit a good quality one with some talented musicians. Thing is this sort of stuff has been done countless times before, sometimes better, sometimes worse and to make it work the band needs to have songs that are catchy and/or memorable. With the exception of Das neue Land (Teil 2), which is a marvellous track, not one song on this album really grabbed me.

6 stars

Mike Thompson


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