Album Review: Taliesin – Disciple

Having the status of Best Australian Album 2022 (Sentinel Daily) probably places some pressure on you for your follow up. If that is the case, then Taliesin didn’t get the message, for follow up Disciple is a shining release.

Heavier and more progressive than Faceless, the nine-track album is an expansive piece of work, full of the modern sounding guitar work one associates with Tesseract, Periphery etc. That is something of a surprise, given the band’s history dates to 1995 when the influences of Rush, Dream Theater and Fates Warning saw Richard Moseley and Rueben Durham first met in Canberra. The current line-up sees vocalist Dave Howe, drummer Wayne Bateup and bassist Chris Tur alongside the two original members.

Dark in lyrical content, Disciple flows organically. The near nine-minute title track is the ideal introduction to the album, allowing the new listener to acquaint themselves with the band’s fluid and emotive style of play. This runs throughout the record, with Howe’s rich, warm vocals a real highlight. The musicianship, as one might expect, is of the highest quality, with intricate passages of play, constant time, and tempo changes. “Custom of the Sea” highlights the band’s quality, with ample harmonies creating luscious melodies alongside the harder edge. There is, as one would expect, some searing guitar work, and it presents without the virtuoso grandstanding that often occurs with bands of this genre. Indeed, much of the music is slightly understated, each instrument and musician allowed time to breath and play. You can hear everything that is happening.

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Whilst Taliesin have brought a heavier sound to their music, there is plenty of room for expansion. They can also play the simpler riffs to great effect as noted in the opening part of “God Damn Lies”, another eight-minute epic that gets into gear quickly. It’s story telling of the highest order, with the keys provided by Moseley and Durham adding vital layers and textures.

Disciple is a well balanced and weighted album. The longer tracks swop places with shorter pieces, allowing the album to flow maintaining interest throughout and ensuring that there is space for each track to be fully absorbed. The eight-minute “Frustration” builds with a cinematic feel, the tension slowly increasing as the song develops. There’s no sense of urgency yet it still moves at pace, capturing the imagination of the listener as the duelling guitar work and rich melodies take centre stage.

Despite what you might think when first encountering this album, the songs are far catchier than might be expected. Intricate, cleverly delivered and beautifully structured, there are hooks and an anthemic quality on songs such “Blindfold” and penultimate song “Burnt” which instantly capture the imagination and attention.

If you are a fan of cleverly written and perfectly performed music, then it would be wrong for you to miss out on Disciple. It’s an album that deserves plenty of attention.

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Disciple is out on October 6th

Check out all the bands we review in 2023 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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