Canadian progressive metal act, Tactus, is a band to you need to watch. Listen up; if they continue the success of their recent album, Bending Light, expect them to be major players in the genre. Bending Light may be their debut effort, but it sure doesn’t sound like it. This is a well crafted journey through 10 songs and expertly produced.
Released on October 7th, 2016, the band has two versions of the album. The studio release and then there is an extended release with a lot of bonus features. One of the coolest features is the complete tablature for both guitars and bass. Any young student of the progressive metal style would devour this for the knowledge it contains.
But what about the music itself? What does it sound like and why do I need to check this band out?
Comparisons to Protest The Hero would easy to make, but I hear something different in Bending Light. The immediatly noticeable is their juxtaposition between soaring melodic vocals and brute force metal growls. It is like an A/B switch, you either get one or the other, rarely combining the two textures. When I mention that this is, ‘a band you need to watch‘, the vocals are one of the major areas I am referring too. When listening to Bending Light, it felt that there was a constant struggle to choose which vocal timbre to employ. As Tactus continues to develop their compositional chops, I think they will smooth this out and better craft the way they select vocals styles with a more organic feel.
Tactus has all of the tools in the toolkit to make prog metal. Dual wield guitars? Check. Insane double kick drumming? Check. Where they really stand out is their use of melody. For example on Track 5, Feast or Famine, they do some very cool chromatic shifting in the melody. The line is passed from vocals to instrumentals and it creates a very uneasy and tension building moment. … (uh, let’s skip over the pseudo-disco section at the end of this track, it is a work in progress right?…) Track 6, Colossus, brings you right back into the album, once again with the awesome melodies, and fucking heavy low end guitars.
So if fast, heavy music that is schizophrenic with rapid transitions, precision musicianship and complex arrangements is your thing, check out Bending Light. An even better idea is to visit, https://tactusband.bandcamp.com/album/bending-light and buy the album for $9.99. Tactus is a band you need to watch. Expect this group to continue to build momentum and refine their sound. Can’t wait for the follow up to Bending Light.