Tenet – Sovereign
Before you can say “when’s-the-next-exodus-album-gonna-come-out?” Tenet arrives with a debut that kicketh thee right in the pants. For anyone who thought this type of death/thrash metal was dead in North America, well, they just wasted brain cells thinking wrong. Tenet is Exodus alumnus Steve “Zetro” Souza plus a bunch of ace musicians from Strapping Young Lad. Anyone keen on extreme metal would be curious to hear this lineup in action, so thank yer toenails its curiosity that’s well catered for across the nine hell raising tracks comprising the material at hand.
So the gist of that last sentence was “Sovereign” is an utterly spanking (dare to call it ‘great’) album. Having gotten the praise out of the way, it’s high time to probe the songs. Shunning fancy-shmancy intros and whatever sound effects clutter albums these days, opener “Being And Nothingness” introduces the band’s trademark riffs, surgically precise drumming (from Gene Hoglan no less), and Souza’s stuck-pig wail. It’s painful fun for metalheads craving a brutal fix, loaded with the kind of intensity that’ll make your head hurt. Since Tenet are all veterans at the music game, the nasty stuff continues for the pummeling “Indulge Me” followed by the relentless “Crown of Thorns.” Yep, three songs deep and this is already an awesome album. Lest the listener start thinking these guys have spent themselves too soon, said listener can go eat dirt, becoz Tenet are bullet proof, easily letting loose scorching, melodic, and brutal anthems like “Unnamable,” which will turn your brain to jello, followed by the gang style backing vocals-plagued “Take A Long Line.”
As if it were cutting things right down the middle, the numbing tempos take a break on the brooding, malevolent “Going Down” as Souza’s villainish voice causes the spine to tingle. Then testosterone makes a huge comeback for the rollicking “Watching You Burn” until the curtains fall beneath the grinding treads of the title track. To round out this glowing review, the playing here is phenomenal, the songwriting faultless, and when the guitars crank them choice solos, it’s honey inside thyne ears. Are there really any wrinkles on “Sovereign”? Hardly. Century Media does the world a mound of good by releasing this album.
PROS: Ace musicianship; a near-flawless debut from a bunch of extreme metal veterans; brain melting brutality and aggression.
CONS: It ain’t for people who like mixing their metal with keyboards.
Final Verdict: If this album were a boot, it’d be shoved so far up your ass your ancestors are gonna feel the pain. You know it’ll be nice.
1. Being And Nothingness
2. Indulge Me
3. Crown of Thorns
5. Take A Long Line
6. Going Down
7. Hail Hail
8. Watching You Burn
Century Media/ Total Running Time- 34:04