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Taberah - The light of which I dream 4/5

Reviewed: 3-1-12


1. The descent
2. Brothers of the fire
3. The call of evil
4. Fearless
5. Stormchild
6. The ballad of Ruby Joy
7. The light of which I dream
8. Freedom or death
9. Requiem of the damned
10. The reaper

Despite the vast distances involved, Australia has made an indelible mark on the international heavy/power metal community over the years. Bands like Dungeon, Lord, Ilium, Pegazus, Vanishing Point, and Black Majesty have released CDs on par with the best that continental Europe has to offer, and the forthcoming Dragonsclaw debut on Arkeyn Steel Records has enjoyed rave reviews from many quarters. Add Taberah to the short list of Australian metal masters. Their independently released debut CD, ‘The light of which I dream’, is nothing short of a song-oriented, guitar-driven, melodic power metal delight.

In terms of comparables, no single signpost band springs to mind. Overall, however, I think it’s fair to say that Taberah combine the melodic songcraft of Dungeon, the muscular riffage of heavier Gamma Ray, and the overall stylistic bent of Swedish acts like Freternia or (for a more mainstream comparison) a tougher version of Hammerfall. There’s enough variety and quality on ‘The light of which I dream’ to bring a smile to the face and a twitch to the neck muscles of even the most discriminating melodic power metal devotee. If chest-beating odes to metal might and fury are your thing, then opener “Brothers of the fire” just may rip your head off with its slamming pre-chorus, “Metal in our hearts and fire in our veins/Do not fuck with us/You’ll never be the same.” For something more melody-drenched and Lord Tim-influenced, lend an ear to the toe-tapping, AOR-flavored strains of “Stormchild”. If you hanker for something a bit more epic, the galloping title track or the midtempo-to-speed-burst closer “The reaper” ought to work nicely. And for a plain old-fashioned ass-kicking, Taberah’s unapologetic ode to Rambo, “Fearless”, will have you pumping your fist and shouting along with the chorus in no time. Only the overlong intro, “The descent”, and declawed sub-3 minute clean guitar’n’vocals tune, “The ballad of Ruby Joy” (which is admittedly pretty well done in its own right, thanks in large part to the earnest, emotive vocals of Jonathon B), break up the intensity of Taberah’s fearless power metal attack.

It’s no secret that hailing from Australia poses special challenges for a metal band seeking to break in to the worldwide scene. Playing festival gigs (much less full-blown tours) overseas is an exorbitantly expensive endeavor that even affluent promoters are hesitant to bankroll. Forging meaningful connections with industry power brokers, label heads, journalists, etc. from across a vast ocean in another hemisphere is a virtual impossibility. And without label support, distribution of product in overseas markets is extremely problematic, as sky-high shipping costs deter most American or European metalheads from ordering a CD directly from a Down Under band. Perhaps Taberah can overcome these obstacles. Perhaps they cannot. Either way, Taberah can and should hold their heads high. On ‘The light of which I dream,’ they have delivered songs and performances that vault them into the upper echelon of young power metal bands worldwide. With a little growth and refinement, Taberah could even give the big boys a run for their money on CD #2. For now, however, regular Metal CD Ratings readers are strongly encouraged to keep their eyes peeled for Taberah, and to purchase ‘The light of which I dream’ without hesitation should the opportunity present itself.




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