Tau Cross - Pillar Of Fire album review

Second outing for The Baron’s tribal battalion

Cover art for Tau Cross - Pillar Of Fire album

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When Amebix frontman Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller joined forces with Voivod drummer Away, expectations were high. The band’s self-titled debut duly delivered the goods, with nods to both men’s bands and plenty of muscular metal oomph ensuring that Tau Cross sounded relevant and just a little dangerous. Second crack, Pillar Of Fire, is a more adventurous affair, veering from the expected four-to-the-floor chugging to the title track’s acoustic reverie, but the band’s fiery spirit remains resolute. And then, of course, there’s Miller’s voice; the bastard offspring of Lemmy and Jaz Coleman, its fierce authority makes everything here sound like a clangourous, inspirational mountainside sermon. There are a few moments where it’s impossible not to play ‘Spot the post-punk reference’, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Deep State has obvious Killing Joke vibes, but also snarls and spikes like prime Slayer, while Killing The King is a straightforward alt-rock anthem that would have graced any of New Model Army’s finest records. Both are weirdly thrilling. The finest moments, most notably the lurching melodrama of The Big House, seem to be birthing some new strain of dissonant rock’n’roll, wherein clichés are set alight and allowed to disintegrate, revealing something purer but more texturally absorbing beneath.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.