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Mesoamerican shamanic black metal? From an… Italian band? With Italian lyrics? Sold! If you’ve been craving for a breath of freshness coming out of the putrid, flame-spitting chasm of black metal, this is a must listen.
According to the band’s page on their label’s website, Tal’Set’s music “embodies the spiritual and magical knowledge handed on through the teachings of ancient Mesoamerican shamans”. Can extreme metal really do that, you might think. Hum, yes. These Italian newbies actually manage to successfully blend meloblack and Dead Can Dance-like ethnic/world/ambient stuff to obtain a neurone-blasting potion even an Aztec high priest would be proud of. A pinch of folk-powder here, a drop of epic keys there and you’re in for a long, entrancing journey through the realm of spirits.
What amazes me the most with this outstanding debut is how these guys succeeded in creating a full BM monster with blasbeats and shrieks and all, without falling into the tempting trap of imitation. As you walk the Via del Guerriero (the path of the warrior), you’ll feel like it was the very first time you were listening to the most infamous of metal subgenres, as though Tal’Set had invented it, or maybe received it as a revelation from the ancients gods of the Toltec, who knows?
The cause of this is to be found in the radical originality of their lyrical themes, as they part from the crowded frost-bitten forests of Scandinavia to venture into the suffocating swamps and eerie labyrinths of Yucatan’s jungles. Or is it because Tal’Set have the creative talent to write new, catchy riffs, to constantly switch from a frenzied tempo to another or because they know how to sound cool instead of sounding repetitive, cold and stoic? So many questions popping into my confused mind as my ears are graced by this band’s bemusing music.
But beware. When the eagle’s claws close on you, there is no release. Before you know it, you’ll have emptied two bottles of mescal and danced yourself to death in a nearby wood in the sinister moonlight... Or headbanged till the Mayan goddess of neck-breaking claims your soul.