Tainted: The Awakening
By Nick Anderson
Christchurch’s Tainted have quickly progressed from their first demo recorded mid 2005, to the release of this debut album in April. Produced by Sam Sheppard (8 Foot Sativa/Sinate), this album is another example of the strength of NZ metal. Reminiscent of European acts (Haunted?) they manage to retain a degree of individuality in a genre often plagued by copycats. Not the easiest of styles to capture, there are some points that need work - maybe more related to equipment limitations rather than band ability or production techniques. In an effort to make it ‘heavy’, the bottom end seems a little loose, the bass unfocused, kicks punchy though lacking depth. It probably sounds monstrous with subs and could be the result of overly tight/loud monitoring. I’m not a fan of blast beats, speed doesn’t equal power, and it’s the power of the slower tracks that impresses me - the grooves are strong and the riffs tight. A couple more sonic issues - one guitar often relies on some phase-based effect. While it differentiates between the guitar sounds it gets a little annoying - as does the constant china cymbal abuse - a large thin cymbal with more of a low growl ala Meshuggah perhaps? A great effort from the band and good on Mr Sheppard - a fine debut.