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Album Review: Tallah – “Matriphagy”

Pennsylvania’s nu-core outfit Tallah has just released their album ‘Matriphagy’ with producer Josh Shroeder on Earache Records.

The band features YouTube sensation Justin Bonitz on vocals, Max Portnoy behind the drums, guitarist Derrick Scheider and bassist Andrew Cooper.

By coincidence, I had recently seen Justin’s YouTube channel a few months back. Justin’s popular channel showcases the video “How to Scream (10 Different Techniques, and hosts the internet’s most popular scream tutorial at about 3 million views.

Tallah states that “Matriphagy” is a concept album about how an overprotective mother pushes her son to the edge of insanity through psychological and physical abuse.”

A track name “[redacted]” starts off the Matriphagy album and sets the tone with as ominous voice is frantically talking and screaming over a some droning tones and clicks that build up a sense of tense feeling and end in a whisper.

First up is  No One Should Read This and it explodes into a snare drum blasting fury laden gut wrenching vocal presentation with hard New York style guitar riffs. I can feel the bands influences shining through as I hear subtle similarities of bands like Slipknot, Korn and Linkin Park. A highlight for me being the floor pounding mosh inducing riffs toward the end of the song completed with some demonic vocal samples.

Next up is the song “Kungan, fading into super chaotic speeding drum beats, the vocals on this track are raw mixed with melodic styles over grooving riffs that explode back into shear musical chaos. The song ends with a brutal death metal style vocal display paired with Bonitz’s recognized screams and grinding guitar harmonics.

As a mid tempo drumbeat starts to play on the track “Overconfidence” I’m enjoying the use of the keyboards mixed in with the bands hardcore sounds. Distorted bass riffs drive the songs structure straight into its slightly evil chorus that have a slight demonic feel to them. This songs breakdown has a unique head bobbing rhythm that blasts into a drum tom masterpiece reminiscent of bands like Sweden’s Ghost with its use of menacing synth melodies behind the riffs.

Placenta” is the fifth track on Tallah’sMatriphagy”. Starting off with pounding drums and guitar. The melodic chorus stand out for me as well as the unsuspected lead guitar riffs piercing though the track and flowing into ogre like vocal patterns. This more upbeat track is full of energy and abruptly ends on a guitar note ringing out over another well places textured sample.

Next up is “L.E.D.” which features an off time beat and unusual guitar chords. This is a very unique intro blasting into a rocking main riff and introducing some turntable record scratching before the vocals come back in. The vocals present rage and emotion that is precisely accenting the specific riffs they are sung over. The song makes a tempo change toward the end slowing down to about half the speed as Justin’s vocals engulf its sound.

The seventh track on the album “The Silo” has a mixture of hardcore riffs and  more melodic vocals which is something I have always enjoyed. Band’s such as NYC’s  Into Another come to mind as Justin begins to sing. Tallah’s defined sound is polished, solid and catchy in all the right ways. Speeding metal riffs are introduced in this track leading into a drum tom solo  that sets up the chorus for another pit creating moment.

Track 8, “We, the Sad” starts off with some high pitched guitar notes over keyboard chords, distorted vocals and grinding guitar riffs, but quickly returns to the intro melodies.“

This is the cry of a man with no purpose.” This is the song you will sing at his grave!”

On the song “Too Quick to Grieve”, the bands groove is set, fading in and out from a rocking bounce to a deep death metal mosh melody. This song has many tempo changes, the tone and tempos remind me of Rage Against the Machine in in some moments.

Track 10, “Cottonmouth” doesn’t leave you time to take a breath as it speeds right into a high speed drum beat. The chorus features deep chest death growls over tight drum rolls that will have your head bobbing back as forth until the circle pit gods are summoned toward the end of the song that abruptly ends with silence.

The next song “Murder Seed” is another display of Tallah’s dedicated sound and the focus and continues to drive what they state in their bio: “It might feel like we’re at the point where everything’s already been done, and there are no surprises left. We’re not sure that’s true, but whatever you think, we’re going to take what we love about metal and do it in our own way.”

The cinematic track “the borderline of pain” comes in at track 12. It is a short textural electronic sampling set up right before the final song.

Closing out the album is “Red Light” which begins just as brutal as the rest of the collection of songs. This song displays a diversity of the vocal patterns and a hard music background which really showcases what the band encompasses.

Tallah highlights the sounds of what new metal is known for. Angst ridden vocals with a soundtrack that lets you releave yours stress.

Be sure to check Tallah live once things are back to normal and get your fix of a raged infused, controlled theatrical chaos that is well choreographed for your listening pleasure.

You can purchase “Matriphagyhere.

Track list:

01 [redacted]

02 No One Should Read This

03 Kungan

04 Overconfidence

05 Placenta

06 L.E.D.

07 The Silo

08 We, the Sad

09 Too Quick to Grieve

10 Cottonmouth

11 Murder Seed

12 the borderline of pain

13 Red Light

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Written by Senior Photojournalist Ken Penn

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