Big riffs dominate on Age of Taurus’ first full-length album.
Hailing from London, England, Age of Taurus might be doom metal’s new darlings. Desperate Souls of Tortured Times is the first LP from these guys, and they’re fresh enough on the scene that even Wikipedia the Mighty has no page on them. If you’re looking for a general sort of description of their sound, take The Sword (remember how they were popular for about five minutes in 2008 or so?), subtract any cool Game of Thrones references, and add a whole hell of a lot more heaviness. Basically, think of giants crashing through the Dark Ages and you’ll have a general idea of what’s going on.
The lyrics on this record mostly revolve around sort of Medieval themes; there are plenty of warriors, magic, queens, and the like here. The opening track, “A Rush of Power”, states No chains can ever contain me/No blade can pierce my skin, which is emphasized by a badass stomping riff that gives way to a more uptempo outro and one hell of a guitar solo. Actually, most of the songs here wrap up with pretty cool guitar craziness. One notable exception, though, is the also-excellent “Walk With Me, My Queen”, a dirge to failed love: I would give my everything just for one more day/ So walk with me, my queen, tonight/ Our exiled spirits free. Ultimately, the protagonist doesn’t get his wish.
Unfortunately, we also don’t get our wish of an entirely solid album. This is ultimately all right, as Age of Taurus is just now getting some notice, and no one expects a first album to be perfect. I’ve got to say, though, that “Embrace the Stone” opens up with a great bass line and an absolutely brutal guitar riff, but then backs off to this weird dreamy section that goes on for far too long before getting back to the badassitude. The song’s about eight minutes long, and would benefit greatly if it were about 30% shorter. Also, “Sinking City” is far too repetitive to merit much attention.
The Bottom Line: Desperate Souls of Tortured Times is a pretty great first full-length effort from Age of Taurus. It’ll be pretty neat to see what else these guys can come up with in the future.