New rock band Tainted Nation is interesting for several reasons. First, the lead singer, and one of the founders, is Pete Newdeck, the drummer from Eden's Curse. Newdeck pulls a Phil Collins and steps out from behind the skins and, yes, he's a pretty good singer. The rest of the band is made up of Ian Nash (Lionsheart), the other cofounder, Mark Cross (Firewind, Marco Mendoza, Helloween) and Pontus Egberg (The Poodles).
The second interesting thing is that, despite their more traditional hard rock and metal backgrounds, Tainted Nation and their first album, F.E.A.R., has a more contemporary commercial flavor. Mostly it comes from Newdeck's vocal arrangements and the d-tuned nature of the music.
However, underneath all this are the fundamentals of good hard rock or metal, of any kind: strong melodies and harmonies, big riffs, catchy hooks, and ripping solos. With these characteristics, and Newdeck's surprising vocals, F.E.A.R. is an interesting listen with many good songs. Nevertheless, as you carry on through the album, there's a certain familiarity, even redundancy, that develops in the simple ongoing heaviness of the riffage. If it weren't for the curiosity of what Newdeck will do next or Ian Nash's blistering solos, you might find yourself tuning out.
Yet, as said earlier, there's some really good songs here. As to the more curious Newdeck's vocal arrangements, check out Who's Watching You, Your Only Friend, or Loser. For some of Nash's great solos check out Haunted and Don't Tell Me. For pure hard rock hooks and accessibility the first three songs, Dare You, Loser, and You Still Hang Around, deliver the goods. That last song could have been a Poodles song in another life. (Maybe Pontus Egberg had something to do with that.) Other songs I could dismiss, like What Are You Waiting For or Nothing Like You Seem, not bad songs, just not that interesting. In the end, F.E.A.R. takes a few listens for it to grow on you.
With Tainted Nation, four traditional hard rock and metal veterans take a more contemporary approach to the genre with often interesting and entertaining results.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]