Wednesday, March 20, 2013

... TSAR BOMBA 'Silent Queen' (album review)

Formed in 2011 and actually consisting in Cédric Marcel (vocals), Fabien Fok (Guitar), Wojtek Nowak (bass) and Jérôme Farion (drums), TSAR BOMBA come from Paris and recently released their debut album "Silent Queen"...
Their bio cites an exciting range of influences from Kyuss, Karma to Burn, to Acid Bath and Electric Wizard... I would just have some reservations about the last mentioned but no matter, we've got here an exciting new french band and that's cool :)

8 songs at the programm for about 40 minutes, that's fairly enough to have a precise overview  of what this band is capable to provide you : almost everything you're looking for !

Starting with a fatty and gritty Sabbathian riff,  the 1st song "Jesus Fuckin' Christ" is pretty representative of the band's identity and sets the tone of the album; after a plodding 1st part, it  gives off an energetic rush and shows all the diversity of Cédric's vocals who are honestly among the very best we can hear in our country for the Stoner genre.
On the whole album the guy is never in rest, he sings, screams, sings, croons as the tempos increase and decrease; clear, rough, rasping, passionate, harsh with HC inflections, crooning hauntingly (some nice Peter Steel hints - especially in the opening and title tracks)... his range is large and those vocals are freshly intense with a striking impact,  I'm sure he can even do better in its delivery but he's already a distinctive and charming force for the band !

Songs like "Enter the Void", "Flooded", "The Devil's Been Busy" contain killer hooks and riffs which can cut your neighbours into pieces, at times there's some anger that could remind some contemporary groove Metal bands, that's beautiful stomping stuff with vigorous bass (that rumbling bassline in the break of the 1st of those songs is beautiful ).
"Silent Queen" is a more mellowed out song , with melodic chords but still maintaining a dark vibe, it's basically that kind of ballad that could have been a hit in the alternative/grunge rock scene of the mid 90's but from its middle-part it floats in a gothic/doomy atmosphere which makes it really thumping.
The heavier "Why Do You Live Here Yet ?" follows the same rule of gaining in intensity but more viciously.

The album ends with "Who Am I" and "Black Flag" who are both effective and infectious mid-tempos, with groove-laden riffage which remains fuckin' heavy in many ways; sligthly more hard-hitting than previously, drums fills are impressive with a suitably loud snare.

Tsar Bomba is surely not a highly original band but guitarist Fabien knows how to compose solid, melodic and relentless songs and from his infectious and beautiful riffs to the lyrics, to the vocals and rytmic section - everything work together amazingly to create more than a couple of good songs !!!
Moreover T.B. is the kind of band that certainly take an heavier and more powerful dimension on stage, sure there'll be some occasion to have a confirmation on this  and some more studio stuff to enjoy... merci les bombardiers !
The band has just signed a deal with Hellbound rds for a vynil edition of this great album, watch out for more infos on their page; meanwhile the digital download on bandcamp remains free... make your choice but support them !

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