Taint - The Ruin Of Nova Roma - Rise Above / Candlelight Records USA
Running Time: 57:45
The orgasmic burst of "The Sound-out Competition"'s beginning rivals the delirium of "Breed"-era Nirvana, but is just a taste of what Welsh trio,Taint, have in store. Jagged Unsane AmRep guitars slice and strut through "Zealots & Whores", melodic vocals rising above the chaos, only to be outshouted by (Neil) Fallonesque bellow. Comparisons could easily be drawn to fellow countrymen Acrimony's heavier material, but Taint is very much its own beast, nudging aside for a place in multiple genres, and using a musical battering ram to make room when a simple nudge won't do. The thunderous groove of "Drunken Marksman" dissolves into "The Idol / The Memory", fluid leads reminiscent of Wino's work in Spirit Caravan leading the way. Anyone who knows me well knows as well the weight that such a remark carries, and trust me, it is not lightly made. Mostly instrumental, the "The Ruin Of Nova Roma" rumbles for just over four minutes, constructing blackened, towering doom. In the live setting, this song would simply crush bones into powder, and is surely one of the reasons why Lee Dorrian stepped out of the emerald haze long enough to ink Taint to his Rise Above partnership. To hear such off-the-cuff professionalism was rare, but upon realization that Taint has been kicking around the UK scene since 1994, it became clear how and why Taint so easily gel with each other as musicians, and as a single unit. The loping "Amaranthine" shimmers, subtle shoegazer chords bouyantly supporting a female guest vocalist, Alex Newport's (Fudge Tunnel) mix blending every aspect of the band into one core, yet still giving each instrument the care and concern one has to in such dense music to keep it from sounding undeniably cluttered. "I'm Going To Kill Henry Ford" is Clutch on an Iron Monkey bender, simultaneously rollicking and dangerous. Really, I'd say that's Taint in a nutshell...the fun of an all-night bonfire kegger mingled with the giddiness of standing at the edge of a cliff and wondering if it's the height you fear or the chance that maybe you could fly all along.
As the lyrics of "The Idol / The Memory" say, "There is nothing new under the sun.". Well, that may be true, but so long as Taint keeps pumping out albums of such quality as The Ruin Of Nova Roma, I'll take the same old same old anyday.