F.E.A.R., by Tainted Nation, has been with me a couple of weeks, and is not fear what it actually inspires me, is more like a badass joy. But let me explain myself. There’s a theory out there that affirms that everything we say in our lives, no matter how creative or how demented we are, has already been told by someone else. Well, dear friends, in my humble opinion, the same happens with music, at this point in history, the genres, the foundations have already been molded and dried in the sun for decades, at least. Tainted Nation understands that the most important thing in music is not to create something completely new and impressive, but rather something entertaining, as this is what music used to be, entertainment. F.E.A.R. sounds like a solid, traditional, powerful and catchy album. A magnificent job, by a group of talented musicians who really know how to rock.
The idea and concept of the band was conceived in Pete Newdeck’s head, drummer of Eden’s Curse, who surprisingly is the lead singer of Tainted Nation, along with drummer Mark Cross (Helloween, Firewind, Outloud) , the guitarist Ian Nash (Seven Deadly Sins, Lionsheart), and Swedish bassist Pontus Egberg (The Puddles). Tainted Nation debuts with this pure rock album, recorded in Athens, Stockholm and Tewkesbury, England. Produced by Pete himself and mixed by the one and only Dennis Ward, known for his work with well known bands as Adagio, Angra, Bob Catley and many more.
The fact that this is the band’s debut album is something completely irrelevant, because of the experience of each of the band members, and because their music sounds as compact as if they had played together forever. While we could use the word “commercial” to describe the sound of this album, I think it would be a bit lazy on my part to call it that way, after all, the concept of commercial music has been very misused recently, and critics stigmatize commercial bands very often, when we all know that many of our legends also have something very commercial in their brilliance. I said that the album sounds modern, but I must clarify that the main influences of the band back to a more classic rock, hard rock, AOR, although some Bullet For My Valentine and related bands is revealed in their sound. F.E.A.R. is painfully catchy, and that’s its strongest point, because I had fun listening to it, and fun is always good. The fact that these great musicians, experienced, highly technical and with a more than admirable career on metal, have gathered their talents and formed a rock band, is not unfortunate at all. The whole band injected that powerful and badass energy from metal in each and every one of their songs, keeping a melodic rock style, with a tendency to emphasize the chorus, but with no gaps in sight.
The lead vocals by Pete Newdeck, are certainly the most remarkable point in the album. I had heard his work as a drummer in Eden’s Curse and well, I was quite surprised to know that he was a singer too. Pete’s voice has a color and tone that sounds modern, fresh and young, and fits perfectly with the contemporary style of the music, but manages to stand out a little more in some moments, because of the harmonies and sometimes recitative backing vocals, especially in songs like Loser and Nothing like You Seem, where he shows off his singing style and some pretty interesting vocal arrangements.
Overall, the album delivers songs of the same line; I would not call it redundant, but maybe coincident. I have an innate curiosity and honestly I had a really good time listening to it, but some fragile minds may lose some attention at some point. The lyrics are direct and assertive. The riffs are generally strong, rhythmic and solid, with defined structures, and the guitar of Ian Nash releases special energy in the catchy chorus of the first three songs Dare You, Loser and You Still Hang Around, Also, an excellent and noteworthy solo appears in Don’t tell me.
So this is it, folks. F.E.A.R. manages to reach the listener with accessible and engaging music. Maybe not an album that will make history for its epicness, but an album that brings good songs, tasty melodies, and leaves a young, modern (almost teenager) feeling of emotion on the ear. The fact that there are no ballads present is something that I am very grateful, especially in a rock album that is supposed to give us adrenaline and not take it away. For moments of musical joy, this album brings heaviness and entertainment, with a neat, heavy sound and interesting and ponderous vocals. This album will definitely be in my head and my stereo some more time.