TarantisT - Not A Crime

14 songs
48:25 minutes
***** ***


In the year 2000, TarantisT were founded in Teheran and had to rehearse secretly in a basement, as playing heavy metal in Iran wasnít considered a good thing to do by the authorities. Word of mouth soon spread, and in 2008 the band decided to emigrate to sunny California where soon their eponymous debut album was recorded. There was a lot of media feedback and the band toured through Northern America and Europe. Back to the present now, where TarantisT are now back with their already fourth album titled Not A Crime, once again a self-released affair.

The band name is derived from tarantism, which means jumping around like crazy after having been bitten by a tarantula. This makes sense when you listen to Not A Crime at an adequate volume. TarantisT claim to be a thrash metal band, but there are also a lot of groove and ethno metal elements. The songs are rather compact and quite rough, with the vocals also being anything but clean. So far, TarantisT are not that different from other similar bands, were there not the use of traditional instruments and the lyrics which are in the bands native Farsi, even though the songs have English titles. This adds an exotic touch to the music, especially on Summer and You Were Not, two of the albumís highlights. Another unexpected element is the electronic component, with Your Dance surprising with techno parts. To allow for some respite among all this thrashing, we get two quieter pieces with I Become God and Pills, who work very well and donít feel in the least stilted.

As the album is extremely varied, one needs to listen to it repeatedly to really get into what these guys are doing. The very unpolished vocals may scare of some, but there are occasional softer moments too. The persistent listener will be rewarded as after some time certain track wonít get out of your mind, despite the musicís apparent complexity. And if you want to know what the band is singing about, you just head on to their webpage and download the English translation of the lyrics.

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