Review: Telma – Eternal

Telma is, or rather was, a completely blank page to me. Hardly surprising as this Larisa, Greece based modern metal band has only been formed earlier this year. That is most likely why I draw an equally frustrating blank on finding any information about the band and its members. There is a Facebook page that provides the line-up, Anthony Kyritsis as vocalist, Markos Kotoulas and Kostas Koutsomarkos as guitarists, Filip Kotoulas as bassist and Mike Tziastoudis as drummer, but that is about it. The podcast in which vocalist Anthony talks about the band is in Greek and considering my Greek is more than a little rusty that wasn’t any help either. So straight on to the tunes it is then. The release in question is Eternal, Telma’s maiden release, which is an eight-song, 31-minute long (or short, whichever you prefer) piece of work.

Opener Dare starts rather relaxed, with a mellow guitar rhythm backed by a fitting rhythm section that resembles rock or even blues more than any type of metal. That however turns out to be rather misleading as the song builds towards showing its true colors, which takes a minute. Part of what follows bares quite a significant resemblance with Metallica in general and their front man James Hetfield’s vocals, complete with its peculiarities, in particular. Luckily this strong resemblance is short lived as the album’s second song, Bipolar Distress, though style-wise not all that different, clearly has a different vibe and character. Not that I don’t like Metallica or that Telma did a crappy job, not at all even. Objectively spoken it certainly is a good song though, I’m just not a big fan of tunes that come too close to other bands’ work, which is the case with this song. One of my many flaws I suppose, hehe.  

Anyway, versatility is the keyword here as Telma’s metal, perhaps as to be expected from a modern metal band, holds references to many styles of metal, rock and blues. Though the one more strikingly present than the other, they’re all there nevertheless, cast in fresh, solidly composed songs. The vocals tend to go along in the flow as Anthony’s voice ranges from clean and clear to the rasping sound of an old cigarette-addicted, whisky-drinking rocker. I personally like the latter the best, he seems more comfortable deploying that specific vocal character.

All in all Telma delivers a solid, fresh sounding debut album that consists of versatile modern metal that taps from a wide variety of different musical styles that are not limited to metal. Sometimes it’s a mere soundbit or a brief reference, sometimes the influences are more prominent. Either way they never dominate or upset the delicate balance. This shows the band have a certain maturity in their music and compositions that one would not expect from a band of their age. If I hadn’t known up front I would never have guessed the band only has been formed earlier this year. If they follow the expected path of growth they could grow into a sensation. Only time will tell, for now suffice it to say that this one is certainly worth paying some serious attention to.

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