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Music Review

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Artist: Tenebra
Label: New Heavy Sounds
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 29 April 2022

New Heavy Sounds releases Moongazer, the second album by four-piece Italian Stoner Rock group Tenebra. The band comprises Cladio on bass, Emilio on guitar, and Mesca on drums – all of which emerged from the Hardcore and Post-Hardcore squat scene that gathered around Bologna – and Silvia on vocals, who is immersed more in the Underground Rock of the 1960s and 1970s. Tenebra follows their debut Gen Nero, and the EP What We Do Is Sacred. This one takes the story a stage further with nine tracks described as fuzzed-up grooves, fuelled by '70s Proto Metal, Hard Rock, Punk, Psych-Blues and Noise, topped with soulful vocals. There is a Limited Edition gatefold vinyl version of only 500 copies. This features a white disc with black marbling, and includes a free download of the album. It is also released on 4-panel digipack CD, and available for download...

The album begins with 'Heavy Crusher', a cutting groove of riffing melody and reverbed vocals. 'Cracked Path' has a similar temperate, gritty format. Silvia’s voice is strong and effective but, tonally, is pitched very close on each song. I’m certain something could be done to make them more individual. It’s a very 1980s or early '90s sound. The music is virtually faultless, with power, crunch and melody. 'Black Lace' even has a Black Sabbath-like intro, with slow and bass-heavy build-up, an unusual backing for a solo, and then a return to the opening. The Wah-Wah pedal comes into action in 'Carry My Load'. The moderate groove is back again with chord sequence riffs and more melody in the vocals than has been heard up to now. 'Winds of Change' incorporates some Electronica and slide guitar reminiscent of the deep south. This could be a loveable Texas lazy drawl but for the vocal style. A nice guitar solo splits the song in two. This could very well be the outstanding track on the album.

'Stranded' has a thumping beat into a prolonged intro which proves to outclass the song itself. That is until the final third; a galloping melody which dips a big toe into Power Metal territory. The accompanying guitar piece is short but sweet. In 'Space Child', there is a Doom mentality for the opening, before it becomes a gritty Space Rock piece with saxophone seeing it out. 'Dark and Distant Sky' returns to the 1980s via the high and gravelly vocals. The music could be from the decade before. It’s a strange combination. This one sounds like a Heavy Rock band turning-out a chirpy and flag-waving Christmas song! Anything goes here. 'Moon Maiden' closes the proceedings with space noise and an atmospheric Psychedelic Rock sound. It features Gary Lee Conner of the grunge band Screaming Trees. It has quite a catchy hook (which reminds me of something I can’t place) and a crossover combination which places it in the 1970/71 era of psychedelic bands phasing into Heavy Rock and therefore carrying elements of both. This is an ideal way to sign-off the release.

For some obscure reason I didn’t believe I would like this album. How wrong could I be. There is versatility in the sound and more than one genre of influence. Anyone who loves those bands from the '70s – including early Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, and the aforementioned Black Sabbath – will undoubtedly appreciate this. I found myself growing rapidly into the album. The tracks get better and more experimental the further into you get. The vocals clash with some of the early songs, making me secretly long for an instrumental version of the entire album – just to see how this would change the sound.


Ty Power

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