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Tenet: Sovereign

Tenet: Sovereign

Thrash/Death Metal
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The very best thrash, when married to its primitive death metal cousin, will naturally produce an ugly, if not deformed, musical child. To no one's surprise, the offspring is beloved by metalheads, which explains the appeal of this incredible debut from Tenet, a supergroup that has former Exodus squealer Steve 'Zetro' Souza fronting Strapping Young Lad's last lineup. Of course, it's safe to assume that such a union will result in Exodus plus Strapping, which isn't far off the mark, but then again, Tenet are entirely new, if not entirely raw.

The thing is, Tenet play death/thrash metal that relies on balancing melody with insane decibels. Cracking open this Sovereign of theirs, the punishment arrives with opener 'Being and Nothingness' and continues for the whirlpool of nihilism that's 'Indulge Me.' Tenet also serve generous helpings of mind-boggling solos from the Jed Simon and Glen Avelais guitar tandem; when these two aren't conjuring a blizzard of razor sharp riffs they're busy lacerating your ears.

Both 'Crown of Thorns' and 'Take A Long Line' not only carry the album's momentum to the halfway mark, they resurrect those timeless gang-style backing vocals from the thrash heyday. On 'Unnamable' however, the catchy stuff mingles with a rollicking tempo for an aural roller coaster that's temporarily suspended around the middle by a few seconds of epic ambience. As a finishing touch, Souza screams 'I am my father's son!' with all the anguish and torment of a lunatic at song's end.

The sinister pace of 'Going Down' injects icy chills into this otherwise ferocious album, being a song that relies on mood and schizophrenic shifts in tempo. 'Hail Hail' merely continues where the first handful of tracks left off, while 'Watching You Burn' is where the band introduces a dizzying melody for the song's misanthropic message. Climaxing the evil they began some thirty odd minutes prior, the title track closes this album on an expectant note. In its aftermath, you'll be left wondering how come it's such a rare treat to hear new bands at the top of their game these days. Tenet's Sovereign raises the bar to a level only the very talented can reach.

In Short

The very best thrash, when married to its primitive death metal cousin, will naturally produce an ugly, if not deformed, musical child. To no one's surprise, the offspring is beloved by metalheads, which explains the appeal of this incredible debut. Tenet's Sovereign raises the bar to a level only the very talented can reach.

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