Tenside – ‘Glamour & Gloom’

By Dave Stewart

If you were one of the lucky people that managed to see Killswitch Engage on their UK tour late last year, there’s a pretty high chance you saw a German metal four-piece open up the show and stir the crowd into a frenzy. That band was Tenside, who, after the huge success of that tour, are setting their sights on destinations far beyond their native homeland, determined to take on the world. The first step? Unleashing their brand new album ‘Glamour & Gloom’ unto your ears.

They waste no time getting into the swing of things, opening the record with the elegant tones of the title track. Glistening leads wrestle with chaotic pounding riffs, resulting in a fight for the spotlight with no clear victor. ‘As Above So Below’ is a healthy dose of the same, treading a noticeably darker path with the same levels of ferocity as the track that preceded it. Single ‘The Last Anthem’ is an infectious call to arms, urging voices to scream their absolute loudest and limbs to flail as wildly as possible. This is everything you’d expect from a metal album, delivered with grit and precision.

Those characteristics are consistent the whole way through the album, firing bullet after bullet from their well-stocked arsenal of weaponry. ‘Cannibals’ oozes with seething anger, ‘Only The Brave’ is an unapologetic fist-pumper, ‘Written In Blood’ is a pit-hungry monster, ‘Along With The Gods’ is a bouncy adrenaline-fuelled anthem – there are plenty of standout moments on display here. The further you delve into the record, though, there’s an unshakeable feeling that there’s something missing.

This is a solid record, without a doubt, but there’s just nothing new here. No boundaries have been pushed, no new heights have been reached – it’s a good metalcore record, but that’s all that it is. If you’re a fan of the genre you won’t have any difficulty finding something to latch onto here – it’s overflowing with big riffs, uplifting choruses and more venom than an angry viper. But, if you’re looking for that special something to spark the fire you’ve been craving, you might be left feeling a little chilly.

If this record was released ten years ago it may have had more impact. Though this isn’t a bad record in any way it just feels as though it’s already been done before. ‘Glamour & Gloom’ is eleven tracks full of classic metalcore moments that are occasionally predictable, often clichéd, but boasting clear musical prowess and potential. Not a record to be the centrepiece of the table, but certainly one that will satisfy your metal hunger.

DAVE STEWART

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