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Taipan - Metal Machine

Metal Machine
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 29 April 2013, 2:21 PM

To be dazed or to be confused, maybe it is because of the toxic venom of the snake running through my veins as I am listening to the Aussie buzz of an echo from the past gone wild. Today I once again was metaphorically lectured to expect the unexpected, watch for alterations as not everything meets the eye so clearly. Metal music, even its traditional branch, has its ways to become obscure in the blink of an eye, with a fast slash of the knife spilling blood. Through the German Killer Metal Records I was introduced to TAIPAN, an Australian Heavy Metal band, quite veteran with a history, but their studio achievements came only in the last eight years, following their comeback to the Metal jungles after slithering between the years 1979 to 1987. “Metal Machine”, TAIPAN’s new poisonous bequest to the world of Metal, appeared as an enigma. Maybe my expectations were awfully great for this album to be that simple NWOBHM endeavor as the band’s name, after thought, pinched me for some reason. After gulping “Metal Machine” I learnt and important moral to not expect anything ever again, just as in sports, everything can happen and surprise, for better or for worse.

I can definitely divide “Metal Machine” into two equal halves, as it if it was premeditated for the every listener, like a fiendish master plan. I believe that the first five tracks are pretty much what TAIPAN have always been, a sort of NWOBHM band mixing shards of the British movement along with attributes of BLACK SABBATH, mostly the Dio era. Judging by these tracks, these guys have some serious grooves. I also liked the drumming, pretty MAIDENish at points, but fairly tight. The skins’ mixing pushed them a bit forward in the overall output, but I could live with that. The general feeling out of this one was British, which it was hard for me to deny. Tracks like “Metal Machine”, “New Dawn” and “Minder” verified my admiration for British Metal. Even “Extremist Militance”, which even sounded like a mere DIO track, caught my attention right away with its energies and vintage straightforward atmosphere. Of course that TAIPAN found a way to break the chains of the movement a bit with making things slightly complex and sluggish, rhythm wise mainly, in order to produce a small dose of challenge. Nothing is that obvious with these mentioned songs, even if there is that catchiness soaring overhead.

That same lack of obviousness leads me to the second half of this release. With the materialization of “Speculum”, anonymity began sniggering loudly at my face, waiting for my initial response to smidgen it. A different band revealed itself to me, something in the vein of VENOM meets BATHORY and early Black Metal started clamoring intensively. Lots of drama, again with the phrasing of expect the unexpected, a magical mystery, hard to distinguish what is coming next. That was me being dazed and confused, not knowing what the future holds for the following remainder of the album. If you thought that “Speculum” was weird, you ought to examine “Nemesis”. It turned out to be like walking between thorns, fearing of getting scratched. I could even distinguish growls. The songs riffing still kept a certain Heavy Metal vibe, which were pretty impressive, but the vocal performance shifted into something merciless, vicious and inexorable. Generally, this is a progressed form of TAIPAN, not relying that much on the past but looking forward to the future. Yet, it is a matter of love and hate. These two mentioned track interested, made me tick in a way, but it was hard to integrate with them. “The Rising” , brutish near Death, “Black Circle” and the terrifying Doom laden “Underground”, seemed to be in a better shape, displaying further dimensions of this band that will put you to the test.

In a nutshell, TAIPAN started in a certain manner and finished with a surprising blow. As I stated, their new maneuvers are a matter of love or hate, it is yours for the choosing. Generally, I recommend listening to this release.      

3 Star Rating

1. Extremist Militance
2. Minder
3. Metal Machine
4. New Dawn
5. War And Disaster
6. Speculum
7. The Rising
8. Nemesis
9. Black Circle
10. Underground
David Zerafa - Guitar / Vocals
Emilio Sarpa - Bass / Vocals
Frank Degennaro - Drums
Record Label: Killer Metal Records


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