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Tenet - Sovereign (CD)

by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 25 July 2009, 10:06 AM

Due to my ignorance (there are too many new bands and this is my excuse) the name of TENET did not ring my mind's inner bell at all. But when I went through the band's lineup a glorious 'whoah' shocked my entire neuron synaptic system. Steve Souza on the vocals? Jed Simon and Glen Alvelais on the guitars? Byron Stroud on the bass and mighty Gene Hoglan behind the drum-kit? If those names tell you nothing then let me mention the bands they  were/are involved and see what will happen. So, we have STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, ZIMMERS HOLE, DEATH ANGEL and of course EXODUS as the icing on the cake. I bet that the 'whoah' in my mind has just moved to yours…
TENET was born in 1996 by STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's guitarist Jed Simon who recorded a demo-tape along with ZIMMERS HOLE's drummer Steve Wheeler (he was then replaced by Gene Hoglan). But due to the working schedule with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, TENET were left in the freezer. While on tour with TESTAMENT, Jed met Glen Alvelais (ex-FORBIDDEN) who agreed to work on TENET. The next step was to ink a record deal with Century Media Records and solidify the current lineup. Sovereign is the product of all those jamming hours and the recent work in studio by this all-star lineup.
Being And Nothingness is the perfect opener! It literally kicks in with a massive drum sound and a hearty primal scream by Souza. I do not know why he left EXODUS (there are a lot of rumors about this) and specifically I thought that he was fed up working with Thrash Metal. This totally wrong impression of mine was blown away by this high pitched scream that woke up memories from Fabulous Disaster and the later Tempo Of Damned days. The music wrapped around this legendary voice has some of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's chaotic structure as seen by the Bay Area Thrash looking glass. Despite the short time duration the track 'says' a lot about the band's potentials with shredding fast guitar work and obliterating drumming. The tracks are fast and heavy merging STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's madness and EXODUS' killer heaviness. Crown Of Thorns is another fine example of my saying; the neck-wrecking rhythm with the double drum pedaling and the SLAYER-esque guitar solos are some of the elements that I felt are missing from the nowadays releases. I think that TENET have managed to take Thrash Metal back to the basics away from the shining productions and the 'pre-cooked' compositions. You can feel the energy flow from solid songs like Hail! Hail! and its the killer groove rhythm, the guitar shredder Watching You Burn or the SLAYER-esque Take A Long Line.
This is one of the occasions where the lineup offers the accreditation of a very good album. Gather all the good elements from EXODUS, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and -why not- TESTAMENT mix them well and then you have TENET's debut album. Add to the above Andy Sneap's work behind the soundboard to get the whole picture about the quality of Sovereign. What a nice album for the summer vacations that is!

PS: You should check another all-star band that goes by the name DOUBLIN DEATH PATROL where Souza sings with Chuck Billy

4 Star Rating

Being And Nothingness
Indulge Me
Crown Of Thorns
Take A Long Line
Going Down
Hail! Hail!
Watching You Burn
Jed Simon  - Guitars
Byron Stroud  - Bass
Glen Alvelais - Guitars
Steve Zetro Souza  - Vocals
Gene Hoglan - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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