TENET - SOVEREIGN - CENTURY MEDIA
We have a policy here at Metallian to be very critical of whatever new release comes our way. While we do not consider ourselves walking bibles of heavy metal (just the last word on what’s awesome or not, hehe), we do have exacting standards. After all, each metalhead craves that next rush of intense music, and if any band fails to deliver on this count, well, they’re screwed–at least here in Metallian.
Thank your testicles then that Tenet are composed of thrash and death metal veterans from two very influential bands: there’s Steve “Zetro” Souza of Exodus fame on vocals and the rest of Strapping Young Lad backing him up. The line-up alone gives a good idea of how these blokes sound, but do lend your ears for a serious half hour immersion in their world, because Tenet are a red-hot poker up yer arse in the brutalizing department.
Chock full of crunchy riffs running at 100 mph, surgically precise drumming (that’s a nod to Gene Hoglan right there), meaty solos, and Souza’s trademark wails, Tenet are noisy proof that age doesn’t matter in the extreme music league. On tracks like opener Being and Nothingness and Indulge Me they balance menace with a delicious array of blast beats and numbing decibels. Straightforward heavy metal wins out for the sing-along fun at Unnamable, the brooding atmosphere of Going Down, and Hail Hail! Then the old school flag is raised with pride at Take A Long Line, whose gang style backing vocals are an aural display of manly toughness; Crown Of Thorns comes along with the same excruciating mix of jagged riffs and hollers. By the time Watching You Burn rolls in, the band is in an ugly mood and their death metal tendencies get the better of them.
Finally, as the curtains are about to fall, the title track commences with guns blazing. This spanking debut album will hurt ears, damage speakers, and make small animals run for cover. While most super groups have always been met with scepticism, Tenet are a sure bet. The policy here in Metallian is indeed tighter than an ant’s bunghole and these guys get a passing grade for a savagely disciplined first effort. - Michael Thrash