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Tetrarchate – With The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us

With The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us
by Kenn Staub at 27 September 2021, 7:13 AM

TETRARCHATE originally formed as a five piece in Pesaro, Italy during the fall of 2006. The next year, after the departure of two members (including the singer), Andrea Aratari (bass) joined founders Andrea “Steve” Biondi (rhythm guitar), who assumed vocal duties, Nazario Biscotti (guitars), and Alex Masini (drums) to constitute the line-up which remains to this day. “With The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us” (released May 8, 2021) is the Italian thrashers second full-length album, their first dropping in 2017.

I’m going to cut right to the chase and address my major concern with “The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us” straight away. Biondi, a very fine rhythm guitarist, is simply not a singer. His low-pitched, glottal vocals are so harshly garbled they are something of a loud, off-key distraction. It seems even the band acknowledges that this part of their overall package is lacking; the promotional material I received noting, “Andrea Biondi gets on vocals besides guitars, seeing a proper singer cannot be found.” Which is a shame, because otherwise TETRACHATE is a more than solid thrash metal band and “The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us” borders on exceptional.

A great guitar riff opens “Scar,” leading into an interesting melody that trots right along. Like on the next song, “Ecstasy Of Fever,” guitarist Biscotti seemingly incorporates symphonic metal elements into the thrash genre with his playing. “Ecstasy Of Fever” is a more structurally complex song than “Scar.” It begins with a buzzy riff and then settles into a racing rhythm. The song has a nice instrumental hook, though it awkwardly transitions to a more marching tempo at midpoint (which itself is played well).

Stampede” has a traditional heavy feel, particularly at its outset. A neat guitar lines repeats through an up-tempo melody before settling into a rhythmic groove. Alternating tempo changes are smoothly contrasted over the later portion of the track. “Bad Luck” also incorporates more traditional heavy metal elements at its start, Aratari’s solid bass playing heard throughout. It seamlessly transitions to a slower cadence at midpoint, though a false finish about three-quarters of the way through marred the track’s overall flow.

There is a lot going on in “Genocide,” which superbly shifts style and tempo fairly frequently. The track’s beginning features slower metal stylings, though after a point it’s almost as if the band collectively decides “well that’s enough” and adroitly kicks the speed up a notch. “Genocide” then swings back and forth, slow and fast; with what even sounds like a groove metal line making an appearance. Biscotti’s solo is played with a memorably spacy tonality.

Chant Of The Foresaken” starts with a powerfully played melody, a showcase of Biondi’s, Aratari’s, and Masini’s cohesiveness when it comes to establishing a song. Biscotti’s guitar buzzes in and out of the melody like a bee. Being frank, the early introduction of vocals killed “Epileptic Flesh” for me. That noted, the band plays a nice groove before things become a bit disjointed. The album closes with the tight thrash instrumental “Hyperuranium.” Though the band really ratchets up the tempo, the song remains very structured, allowing the track’s melody to be easily followed and enjoyed. The outro, a real headbanger, is a bonus.

My favorite parts of “With The Sole Acquiescence To Lead Us” are vocal-free. Instrumentally the album is a good listen; the rhythm section tight, the guitar solos interesting, and, unlike a lot of thrash, the drumming not overpowering the musical line (though Masini is a dervish behind the kit). If TETRARCHATE can find a singer to complement the music, leaving Biondi to play the guitar (which, as I’ve previously noted, he does well), they become much more of a band to be reckoned with.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Scar
2. Ecstasy Of Fever
3. Stampede
4. Bad Luck
5. Genocide
6. Chant Of The Foresaken
7. Epileptic Flesh
8. Hyperuranium
Andrea “Steve” Biondi – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Nazario Biscotti – Guitars
Andrea Aratari – Bass
Alex Masini – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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