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Released: 2012, Fireball
This album came out of nowhere for me and instantly on the first listen I knew they were something special and it went immediately into heavy rotation, despite the huge pile of new bands to hear on my desk. Teodor Tuff had been around putting out a self-titled album in 2009 that was apparently much more Rock oriented, hence the name. In fact when I saw the band name, I assumed it was a Hard Rock or even glam band, but the darker cover art didn’t match the name. Three members left and after a brief hiatus the band reconvened and put out this album on the Fireball label. I haven’t heard the debut but apparently it is a radical change in sound.
SOLILOQUY has ten cuts and an intro and runs about 51 minutes. The band have caught the ear of some other people as a couple of guests drop by for some guest solos. Members of Divided Multitude, Mercenary, Freak Kitchen and none other than Jeff Waters! All these dudes do a killer solo on the track ‘Heavenly Mana’. I heard it and was blown away by the extended soloing, before I knew who the guests were! It’s certainly a centerpiece on the record. Producer Jacob Hansen gives his usual world-class production job, making the songs shine to perfection.
Musically speaking Teodor Tuff play a melodic style of Progressive Power Metal. The opening intro ‘Godagar’, made me think that there might be a more gothic female-vocal style to the album, but the style shifts into a more straight ahead Metal. I’m even hearing some little guitar flourishes and staccato rhythms that remind me of an obscure (but fun) band from 20 years ago called T-Ride. The time changes and stops and starts are littered through the songs but always return to a super melodic chorus. There are tempo changes and the guitars are also thick and crunchy. The vocals of Terje Haroy are clean, clear and powerful and he delivers above average lyrics that are somewhat existential but also have slices of modernity laced through the prose. By that I mean the lyrics are a bit weird, you have to pay attention, but not so weird that they don’t make sense. Topics touched on are religion, war, incest among other things. The individual performances are all excellent but the strength of this album is the way the songs are arranged and composed. This is such an interesting album, it’s almost hard to articulate. I hear hints of St. Daemon, Communic, Nevermore and other forward-thinking bands that really try to push the boundaries by writing good, interesting songs but never sacrifice the Metal song for the sake of being weird or overtly hyper-instrumental. It drives along at a good pace, always crunchy riffs leading the way embellished by great solos.
This is the strongest album I’ve heard in a long time and SOLILOQUY is easily a contender for my Top 20 of year. Don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself. Teodor Tuff have really hit a sweet spot that will dazzle the world or go over everyone’s heads. Let’s hope it’s the former.
2. The Last Supper
4. Mountain Rose
5. Hymn (For An Embattled Mind)
6. Delusions Of Grandeur
7. Heavenly Manna
8. Deng's Dictum
10. Mind Over Matter
11. Tower Of Power
Terje Harøy Vocals
Christer Harøy Guitars
Knut Lysklætt Guitar
Rayner Harøy Bass
Knut Hellem Drums
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