Veteran Charlotte band Tattermask’s new EP showcases everything about the band that makes them not only such a tight unit musically, but such a talented one as well. Working with producer Cory Plaugh (Crossfade), really unlocked the band’s sound by giving it a much more clean yet LOUD resonance. After the Storm (2011) gave lovers of ariose, yet powerfully heavy, metal a band worth checking out. Carpe Noctum (2015) gives us a band we can rank among our favorites of the genre.
“Asylum,” the EP’s stand out track, is a full throttled, metal shockwave of a song with some of the most interesting guitar work and effects we’ve seen from Tattermask. The vocal work is also some of Amanda Tattermask’s best, and the effects applied to it only amplify its power. “Asylum” is sure to be a show stopper live. The blended acoustic guitar work throughout the song’s later movements also adds a nice surge to the song’s emotional break. “Better Off Alone” opens the EP with a bit of a more poppy/nu metal-ish sound, yet doesn’t betray the band’s penchant for heaviness. The song’s best aspect is its solid soloing though.”Concern” quickly blends its Eastern sounding opening into some great staccato riffing that supports Amanda’s lyrics about happiness and loss. Solid and weighty, “Concern” is the EPs other stand out track. “No More,” a track that has been around for a few years, benefits from the high end production, but in reality didn’t need it to be one of Tattermask’s best songs ever recorded, until this EP that is. Nevertheless it fits in with the new material seamlessly.
For a band that relies upon its own material and doesn’t play covers, they sure do a hell of a cover here. Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose,” off the soundtrack to the forgettable Batman Forever film, really demonstrates the space that the band is capable of creating (or re-creating here) within the music they play. Often times, metal of the type that Tattermask plays suffers from a lack of space within the songs, even though it’s something that the band excellently has learned to counteract in original music-like they do in “Asylum”. Their ability to recreate the open spaces of Seal’s classic yet still turn it into a heavy masterpiece of a cover is simply breathtaking. Never a huge fan of the original, I’m a massive fan of the Tattermask version. “Kiss From a Rose” also gives Amanda an extra special opportunity to put her significant vocal talent on full display.
A powerful, yet all too short, recording of staggering import, Carpe Noctum reintroduces the rock world to a band from Charlotte, NC that demands an attentive listen and serious attention. They’ve certainly recaptured mine.
Don’t miss Tattermask’s Carpe Noctum CD Release Party at Tremont Music Hall Saturday Feb. 21st.