TARANTULA HAWK: Self-Titled: CD

For some weird reason, I’ve really been loving doomy prog metal lately (even though I’m still not too interested in Neurosis) and this is in the same dark vein. Epic, droning dirges that sound like marching orcs in the Lord of the Rings—yeah, that may have sounded kind of lame but these plodding songs are spooky, filled with keyboards that sound like they came straight out of Phantom of the Opera. They’re filled with dread, not the vague suspicion that something bad might happen sooner or later, but the absolute certainty that everything is going to be very fucked in short order. They have a tribal, almost jazz-like, groove at times, all syncopated drumbeats and what sounds like the metal equivalent of snare drum chatter. With all that said, this may actually be too well-produced for doom metal fans (the sound isn’t murky and this album doesn’t seem to have been recorded through a tin can) but may not sound clear enough for Dream Theater fans. However, to my ears, this sounds damned cool and I can’t wait to hear more.

 –scott (Life Is Abuse)