Review: TAU CROSS “Pillar of Fire”

Review: TAU CROSS “Pillar of Fire”

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TAU CROSS “Pillar of Fire”
Relapse Records

Tau Cross feature (amongst others) Rob Miller, vocalist from the now defunct Amebix and Voivod drummer Michel “Away” Langevin.

I was only introduced to the music of Amebix a few years ago and I really like what I’ve heard. And basing my opinion on my limited knowledge, album number 2 from Tau Cross feels like a continuation of 2011’s Amebix swansong, Sonic Mass, along with a healthy dollop of Killing Joke.

And the crossover of Metal and Industrial sounds should appeal to both sides. Or if, like me, you like both styles, then it’s a massive win-win situation. Although trying to pin down the exact sound of Tau Cross isn’t easy…

Overall, there’s a lot less (Voivod style) Metal than on their 2015 debut and the anger levels are a couple of notches lower, but it’s still a thoroughly engrossing album.

The riffs are from the Industrial side and are hypnotic in their military precision. There’s a general Punk / Post Punk feel with Rob Miller’s vocals sounding like a throaty, yet calm, elder statesman (having turned 50 this year, I can probably get away with saying someone’s getting older… hopefully) which I guess just leaves the rhythm section to add a metallic sheen.

Then there are curveballs like the title track, which is more like an acoustic Bowie/Bauhaus collaboration, written when both parties where in particularly bad moods. And Killing The King reminds me of a very angry Joy Division letting rip at a Punk gig while they cover a Fields of Nephilim track!!!! Which is a very strange combination. But it works, so you’ll hear no complaints from me.

But for the most part, this is a pissed off Post Punk / Industrial affair, with tracks like the menacing The Big House clashing with the more venomous tones of RFID, before the album reaches a climax with the miserable “ballad”, What Is A Man, which rather perversely conjures up images of a Celtic pirate ship, with the pirates torturing The Pogues Shane MacGowan.

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Steve Thomas-Green
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