Taint The Ruin of Nova Roma

Released in the Europe by Lee Dorrian’s Rise Above label and wisely snatched up for North American release by Candlelight, this debut full-length from Welsh combo Taint kills. Apparently together already for more than a decade, listening to this makes me wonder just why they waited so long to cut a record. The band don’t have an entirely original sound, coming across like a less refined Mastodon mixed with Elephant Riders-era Clutch. They do have great guitar riffs, the band are tight up and down and vocalist James Isaac does an admirable job, even if his voice sounds better suited for something more thrash-oriented. Having said that, there is something about this record that demands return visits, which I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s the variance between songs, as the band seem to float between stoner rock, doom and metalcore from song to song and pull it off with grace. Here’s hoping it’s not another ten years before we get a follow-up. (Candlelight)