Tapping The Vein The Damage

Neither a drug reference nor a Sodom cover band, Tapping The Vein is a metaphor for creativity wellsprings. Signed to Rebelution, the newest Nuclear Blast imprint, and managed by the same company that handles Morbid Angel and Nile, this Philadelphia quartet carefully straddles the fence between melodic metal and rock-based goth, much like the Bronx Casket Co. The breathy vocals of Heather Thompson are immediately comparable to those of Trance To The Sun’s Ingrid Blue, though she does belt out notes like a gutsier Cyndi Lauper in "The Ledge” and "Butterfly.” The serpentine keyboards, courtesy of drummer Eric Fisher, fuse chords together seamlessly and his deft programmed applications give the songs a palpable metal atmosphere. "Broken,” the album’s heaviest track, sports Mark Burkert’s doom-laden riffs amid Fisher’s industrial-ish electronics. "Sugar Falls” could easily be Veruca Salt going techno, and the title track parallels (at least structurally) Missing Persons’ "Walking In L.A.” New wave metal for head-bangers and goths alike, TTV do not disappoint in the intensity department. (Nuclear Blast)