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Talbot : Eos

Talbot play atmospheric Sludge akin to YOB.

Assuming that G = guitar, B = bass and D = drums
And if YOB = Y and Talbot = T and Y = G + B + D; what is the relation between Y and T?

Simple maths: T = Y – G

OK. Let's not try to be this simplistic anyway. True, it doesn't take a genius to find more than a good share of similarities between Talbot and YOB, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the former is just plagiarizing the latter. Considering that YOB have always been in a league of their own, it’s actually quite refreshing to see a younger band following the master’s steps and offering something that isn't entirely similar, but that rather pays a talented tribute to the Sludge gods.

First, let’s see in which ways the two bands may be compared. Well, let’s start with Captain Obvious: their sound. Both play that kind of unique blend with its unmistakable flavor: Atmospheric Sludge. Which means you should expect crushing riffs played at the speed of darkness, only to be interrupted by elegant intrusions of light. Expect also the double vocals kind of delivery. While later YOB albums have more that clean/harsher lyrical duet emphasized, let’s not forget that on both Elaborations of Carbon and Catharsis, Mike Scheidt had real Death Metal growls combined with his other nosy alias. And that’s exactly what you’ll get in EOS, except that, instead of one singer, both instrumentalists play their part.

Should the review stop here, you’d be entitled to think we found ourselves a copycat for YOB. But the similarities, although blatant, stop here. The Estonian duet have somehow catchier songs (‘Observer X’ will have you want to sing along in no time) than their American counterpart and their sound is, believe it or not, much heavier. There’s obviously a simple reason for this. Talbot have no guitar player and all chords are taken care of by the bass guitar. Needless to say at this stage that it provides for some cataclysmic tunes. So where YOB's music and atmospheric parts give them this eerie almost stellar feel, Talbot's dwell more under mounds of earth, it’s more organic, more telluric, and yet the Estonian band also knows how to speed things up, as demonstrated by the Hardcore break found on 'Coach’.

All in all, EOS is a monster of an album and, aside the fact that some people may complain that the lineage with YOB may be a bit too obvious, there's really no flaw to be found there. It's a great record, with a fantastic replay value because, even though songs fade into one another, they can be listened to individually and never get boring, the longest one under the 12 minutes mark. The response to this album has been tremendous, forcing the band to re-release it again recently with a different artwork, so don't be a smart ass and go get it.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Threshold
2. Cayenne
3. Observer X
4. EOS
5. Combat Zen Speech
6. The Van of Pleasant Living
7. Coach

Duration : Approx. 44 minutes

Visit the Talbot bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-24 by Frédéric Cerfvol
Hate Your Guts Records
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