Tavú – Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii (self released, 2013)
Modern metal is a sub-genre that most of the times makes old school metal fans to cringe. Many think about breakdowns and extremely dowtuned guitars upon hearing the term. But not every modern metal has to sound like Asking Alexandria, Suicide Silence and shit like that. There is plenty of modern metal rooted in the foundations of the music we love. And we can find Puerto Rico’s Tavú on the later category. The band was formed in 1996 and has stablished themselves as one of the most dynamic bands in the Puertorrican metal scene, sharing the stage with prominent overseas acts and having toured outside the island plenty of times. Almost 9 years after their debut self-titled album, Tavú are back with their sophomore effort titled “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” (Latin for “the cry of victory, the cry of silence”). The differences between both releases and the musical growth are inmediately noticeable after the first notes.
“Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” opens with the intro “Clamor Victorium“, setting the tone for what is about to be unleashed. “Sin Miedo“, the album’s first single, follows and it inmediately feels like a smash in the face with its utter heaviness and a very chunky groove not too far from “Roots“-era Sepultura or late Soulfly. Here it becomes pretty obvious that Marcos’ vocal delivery has improved a lot through the years and just like through the whole album, he really shines in this one. “Sin Miedo” is straight forward Tavú at its best, and it is one of the album’s highlights. The album continues with “Take A Bow“, the first showcase of experimentation in “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii“. Filled with plenty of Meshuggah and Textures styled riffs, and a very Deftones inspired chorus, “Take A Bow” shows the listener how good modern metal should be done, and guitarrist Joen gave plenty of recognized guitar players from around the globe a run for their money when it comes to deliver quality”djent” styled riffs. “Take A Bow” is one of the best tracks on the album and one of Tavú‘s best songs ever written. “Jack” is next and it basically follows the heaviness of “Sin Miedo” but here the riffs rely more on the death/thrash metal style, quite similar to the sound created by Lamb Of God. “Jack” is a pretty good track, but it lacks that special charm to put it among the albums highlights, mostly due to its straight forwardness.
“A System Without Honor” follows and here we are on the experimental side again. The track’s first 2 minutes are filled with fast and heavy riffing with a harsh and clean vocals trade-off and with some of David‘s best drumming in here, before turning into a full Deftones somber deliver. For the rest of the song, Marcos simply performed the best vocals of his career. The passion he put into those lines is undeniable, he was really feeling what he has singing while this unique guitar sound plays on the background. This is the kind of track that brings chills to my spine, and it is not only the album’s best song, it is perhaps the highlight of Tavú‘s whole career. Next we got “Antipoesía“, a song that Tavú wrote many years ago, but here is featured in a refreshed version with better guitar arrangements. “Antipoesía” is a track that can be compared to “Sin Miedo” in terms of the approach, although not at solid as the later one. “Courtesy” follows, a track quite similar to “Jack” but somehwat more experimental and with a killer drumming performance.
Tavú were not shy to experiment with different styles on “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” and track number 8 “Words Of Salt And Ash” is another proof of it. Being a very heavy track, among the heaviest of the whole album, “Words Of Salt And Ash” also features great melodic clean vocals lines, quite common in progressive metal. The balance created between the aggression and the melody in this song is just perfect, making it another of the album’s highlights. “Apología” follows the path of “Sin Miedo” and “Antipoesía“, but it can be pointed as the weakest of the 3 tracks, but still a solid offering. “My Kingdom Falls” is next and here we got the heavy/experimental dose again, as plenty of Strapping Young Lad/Devin Townsend can be heared in here. Filled with solid riffing and drumming, along with more great vocal lines, “My Kingdom Falls” is just another slab of awesomeness. Just as if what we have previously witnessed was not good enough, Tavú closes the album with what can be considered their most atypical song. “Clamor Silentii” is a mid-paced track with plenty of melodic death metal styled riffs, and with perhaps the band’s most melodic arragement ever. Here again, Marcos truly shines on his vocals, and I would even say that the melodic style of the song makes him shine more. One would have expected another kind of closing track after all the heaviness for the most of “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” duration, but the guys decided to surprise us with a song that can be considered to does not fit the rest of the album, but that at the same time “Clamor Silentii” wraps it up in a perfect way. Bravo for that!
“Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” is just a lesson on how to approach modern metal with your feet firmly rooted in the foundations and the guys somewhat managed to carry us into a musical journey of 46 minutes without really any letdowns. The sound quality overall is magnificient and includes collaborations with award winning sound designer (and ex-Tavú bass player) Cesar Dávila-Irizarry, known for his musical composition of the “American Horror Story” theme song, and was mixed and mastered by legendary Puertorrican sound engineer Leo Álvarez. As previously mentioned, Marcos‘ vocal delivery takes the cake this time as his perfomance could be ranked among the best I have ever listened within the style. “Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” was an album that took a lot of effort and time to be completed, but in the end it is worth every single drop of sweat put into it. “Clamor victorium” indeed.
HMT Rating: 9/10
“Clamor Victorium, Clamor Silentii” was released on June. The track listing is as follows:
1. Clamor Victorium 01:36
2. Sin Miedo 04:24
3. Take a Bow 05:00
4. Jack 05:18
5. A System Without Honor 03:52
6. Antipoesía 03:30
7. Courtesy 04:59
8. Words of Salt and Ash 04:50
9. Apología 04:10
10. My Kingdom Falls 04:16
11. Clamor Silentii 04:27
The video for the first single, “Sin Miedo“, is below.
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