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Tiebreaker - Death Tunes Award winner

Death Tunes
by VR at 28 March 2017, 8:51 PM

The country of Norway, along with its neighbors, is known for their pioneering work in Death and Black Metal and consequently a surprise to hear a Rock and Roll band with Blues influences hailing from these parts. TIEBREAKER was formed by five childhood friends, who grew up together and learnt to play their instruments together, in the city of Odda in the year 2011. An eponymous EP followed in the year 2012 and the band toured intermittently, all the while gaining a growing fan base. A tour of the U.S followed in the year 2013 and the band played 11 shows in 9 days. They released their first LP in the 2014 entitled, “We Come from the Mountains”, and began to tour extensively in their home country. The band was invited by ENSLAVED to participate in a three week tour of Norway. In the year 2015, the band locked themselves away in a remote, small cabin and proceeded to write “Death Tunes” that was released in the year 2016, via Karisma Records.

The album opens up with the sweetly titled bluesy track called, “Hell”, and it is an incredibly opening track, all three and a half minutes of it. The track is peppered with blues melodies and fuzzy guitar work, which was the mainstay for big Arena Rock bands of the 70’s. The gravelly lead vocals add an aura of authenticity to the track. ”Commando” is a relatively short track that has a dirty, grimy riff to start things off. The angst filled lead vocals dovetails perfectly to the Rock and Roll melody that the band plays. Frizzy production on the song hits the right spots and this track is a great example of a Southern style Rock song.”Anywhere but Here” starts off with a melody and is shored up by distorted chords and a steady drum beat. This album is probably my favorite of the album and it is a tight song. The band wastes no time on this song and all the instruments including a showy lead guitar solo collude to create a brilliant Rock song.”Building Up To Die” has an ominous beginning of rain and thunder before a classic Rock riff takes over. The agony filled vocals stand out and the track is a gritty affair. Twin guitar riff attack makes this a layered track and the chorus is just explosive. The album closes out with an almost 10 minute track called, “Heavy Lifting”, and it is a slow and a grief filled song. The band does an outstanding job in keeping the listener interested in this melancholy song. The latter half of the song is when it really erupts to transform itself into a masterpiece and a blues soaked epic track.

This is an album for fans of Rock Music who grew up listening to the legends of the 70’s. This is the legacy of seminal bands like DEEP PURPLE, LED ZEPELLIN, and GOV’T MULE, and other bands that influenced the next set of musicians. This is an excellent example of a modern Rock and Roll album with shades of Garage and Arena rock infused in them. The song writing is spectacular with meaningful lyrics. The vocals are impeccable with a range of emotions from greasy to soulful to poignant. The musicianship is par excellence and the production gives you that 70’s vibe that is missing in most acts these days. This is one band that one can be sure to continue to produce material that would astound fans all around the world.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Hell
2. Pan American Grindstone
3. Cannonball
4. Commando
5. Anywhere But Here
6. The Deep
7. Building Up To Die
8. Killer
9. Float Away
10. Heavy Lifting
Thomas Espeland Karlsen - Vocals
Eirik Wik Haug - Guitars
Pål Gunnar Dale - Drums
 Olav Vikingstad - Guitars
Patrick Andersson - Bass
Record Label: Karisma Records


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