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Of all the so-called "new wave" of Swedish "death" metal bands that emerged from Gothenburg and its area upon the underground success of At The Gates with its two first albums and, then, the true success of this band with the great "Slaughter of the soul", let's face it, most of them were just crappy Heavy Metal shit with screamed vocals and nothing "new" or "new wave" to offer and, even worse, nothing "death metal" at all...
That was the case with most of the renewed bands of that genre, including Dark Tranquillity and In Flames, that are decent Heavy Metal bands (nothing more, nothing less) but have nothing to do with a Death Metal one. But that was not the case with Taetre which, despite some cheesy "pseudo-melodic / really-boring" moments like the middle part of "Prince of many faces" had come, all in all, with a really decent AND agressive Death Metal album à la At The Gates with never trying to rip the masters off (even if the riffing is quite similar, it's never ripped-off), trying, at the contrary, to develop things were At The Gates left them, such as all the Carcass wanna-be of the late nineties (Exhumed, Impaled, Aborted and zillions more) finaly managed (for the most interesting of them) to get rid of their Carcass ripping off to bring some fresh blood into a quite "distinctive" sub-sub-genre of their own.
So, sure Taetre went the wrong time with the wrong style on some wrong label, but, what one Hell of an album is this one! Believe me, I HATE New Wave of Swedish Death Metal, but I really do like that Taetre debut!
I can remember having received my promo copy -I had a label and a zine at that time- and having put the CD on the "painful to review" stack of the shelve upon reading the release's info sheet by the simple fact they were coming from Gothenburg. Some weeks after the album release, I finaly ran out of material to review and finaly instrted the plate in the CD player. The intro, while of no real interest, got me in within a matter of seconds.
Fast, always aggressive and / or dark, even in the most melodic moments, well produced, intense, sometimes reminding the almighty Dissection is their more melodic moments (like on "When winter came"), Taetre really managed to firmly plant its hook in me with this catchy album that should always be cited when trying to pick up a really decent New Wave of Swedish Death Metal release... because it's one of the few that label really can be put on with no shame: New... Death...
...but i can assure you, it´s definitly worth a shot.
Taetre. That name doesn´t really ring a bell for many people, wich is indeed a shame. "The Art" is their first and by far their best album. It´s got a raw yet melodic sound and Lindblood´s vocals are pretty impressive and doesn´t really sound like anything I´ve heard before.
"The Art" differs a lot from the other albums by Taetre since they changed their style throughout the albums. "Out of Emotional Disorder" has more of a melodic death metal-sound and "Divine Misanthropic Madness" sounds like a combination of modern thrash and old-school death metal. The Art on the other hand is a pure black metal-album. It´s kind of hard to see where they get inspiration from but on some points on the album you can find some Dissection and Dismember inspired riffing. Most obvious would be the track "When Winter Came" wich, with some changes in the production, could just as easily have been on Dissection´s "The Somberlain".
The album starts out with a powerful intro and then plunges straight into "My Lament" wich is the most powerful track on the album and along with "Lifeplague" and "The Labyrinth of the Mind" differs lyricwise from the rest of the songs wich are mostly about horrorstories. For example "Prince of Many Faces" wich is about the legendary Vlad Tepes aka Count Dracula aka a lot of other names.
The only thing that bothers me with this album is the drumming. Graveyard is indeed a talented drummer but the sound of it is so fucking thin. Sometimes it actually sounds like if he´s just tapping on his knees. Other than that this is a great album and it´s a real shame that it´s not a success. Try it, you´ll like it!
Highlights: "My Lament", "Prince of Many Faces", "The Art", "Lifeplauge" and "The Halls Have Eyes".