Combine Steve Souza (ex vocalist for Exodus) and Jed Simon (guitarist for Strapping Young Lad), and youâ€™re bound to get classic metal with a healthy dose of brutality edging into thrash and death. And in grand tradition, itâ€™s taken 13 years for ideas to become what is TENET’s Sovereign.
Souza declares intentions with an immediate, bloodcurling yell heralding â€˜Being and Nothingnessâ€™. Heâ€™s in top notch form, backed throughout by an onslaught of drums and shredding guitars that occasionally spring into rapid melodies. Salutes to the time signature change in â€˜Indulge Meâ€™sâ€™ chorus which is reinforced by the staccato, vocal delivery. â€˜Crown of Thornsâ€™ increases the assault after which weâ€™re giving breathing room with the more chugging rhythm of â€˜Unnameableâ€™. The latter fights for favourite position with itâ€™ spoken, backing vocals and yells of â€˜Liarâ€™, something more sinister yet most accessible. Like much of the album, it is anger ripping towards the truth, an acceptance of what is, and standing strong atop it. â€˜Take a Long Lineâ€™ furthers the cause with a catchy intro thatâ€™s repeated as the chorus. â€˜Going Downâ€™ lives up to its name with a slow, pondering, headbanging groove whilst â€˜Hail Hail!â€™ screeches us back up to thrashiness, adding chants and a soaring guitar solo so that itâ€™s ensured as one of the best here. Love the vocal outro. â€˜Watching You Burnâ€™ and â€˜Sovereignâ€™ are solid but donâ€™t beat out other songs for top spot.
TENETâ€™s Sovereign is heavy metal repackaged for the new generation. It may be short at 34 minutes but will be amongst your best 34 minutes this year. It doesnâ€™t break new ground so it wonâ€™t be landmark but because of its very successful amalgamation of genres itâ€™s bound to become an underground gem!