The reason I love Tainted Nation is due to the fact that they are to the point and in your face. They have a style that is catchy enough to bring in fans that might not prefer the Metal edge yet still heavy enough to keep the Metal Heads happy. Tainted Nation only defines that characteristic further on their album “On The Outside”, whether it be the dominating guitar riffing of “Fight” or the sheer epic emotion on “Live And Die”.
The range of tempo and song structure is really varied too. I was expecting this album to not differ much from the usual hard rock and metal fare, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear these guys tapping into their creativity a whole lot more.
Tainted Nation brings plenty of layered harmonies to the table as well as a heavy dose of melody. “On The Outside” is a mid-paced riff-charged killer, showing some signs of heart felt lyrical content, changing rhythms and soaring vocals, on top of superb drumming by Mark Cross.
The band also does a less syncopated, but truly great version of Billy Squier’s 1981 megahit, “The Stroke”. This is where both guitarists, Ian Nash and Joel Peters get to let it loose with some luscious sounds.
Now, don’t go thinking that because of all the melody and harmony that Tainted Nation are soft in anyway, because there is plenty of aggression throughout the tracks, such as the pummeling “Ordinary Life”, which also showcases some vicious lead soloing, and the bone crunching “Karma”.
And the album shows no sign of letting up at this point, as the energy seems to build to explosion point with “Going To Hell” – grinding guitar riffs, a thick and thumping bass, and yet another sterling performance by drummer Cross, holds it all together, as Pete Newdeck lays down the gauntlet on vocals. The euphoric progression continues with “About A Boy” which delivers some brilliant call-and-respond vocal arrangements.
The duet with Issa on “Pulling Me Under” is another album highlight; a blend of outstanding male and female vocals meet the vibrant basslines supplied by Pontus Egberg and another staggering lead solo that will sear your brain. These guys can be brutal, melodic and yet pull it all together in the same song for some kick ass high energy rock.
I’ve read somewhere that listening to singer Peter Newdeck is like hearing Ozzy Osbourne sing. To me that’s true in the timber of the voice, which is uncannily evident on many songs, including “Welcome To War”, but that’s where the similarities end.
I’m not trying to knock a legendary front-man here, I wouldn’t dare. But I do take my rock singers extremely seriously, when it comes to purely the voice, and if we want to be perfectly honest, Ozzy is just a notch and half below Peter’s vocal range, his intonation, or his phrasing – and what better song than the epic album closer, “Back to Earth”, to prove my point.
All-round, this is a superb album. Its production value is extremely high and it sounds great at any volume. Many rock bands with a metal edge sound very mathematical on riffs and solos, but none of that happens here “On The Outside”.
Ian Nash and Joel Peters are a lethal guitar team, with ferocious rhythms and expressive fiery lead work that colors the music just right without overkill. Tainted Nation has put out a great, hard rocking album that won’t disappoint any fans of the genre.
Tainted Nation is PETE NEWDECK – Vocals (Ex Drummer in Eden’s Curse, Grim Reaper, Killers, Steve Grimmett) PONTUS EGBERG – Bass (King Diamond, ex The Poodles, Lions Share, Zan Clan) IAN NASH – Guitar (Steve Grimmett, Lionsheart) MARK CROSS – Drums (ex Firewind, Outloud, Helloween, Kingdom Come) JOEL PETERS – Guitar (Fury, Newman).