Instrumental rock and metal can be a hit and miss affair. Many bands are simply too technical to get any form of mass appeal or some them really need to a vocalist to get things going for them. There’s a rare breed of bands out there who really manages to beat the odds and deliver some genuinly thrilling instrumental music. Long Distince Calling, Animals As Leaders, Scale The Summit and Tides From Nebula are clear examples from that. Dutch band Tank86 is another name that should be added to that exclusive list, as their debut album Rise will attest.
The music on Rise is firmly rooted in the stoner and sludge tradition. Tank86 reminds me somewhat of early Mastodon and a less jazzy Intronaut, but with the same hellbent desire to deliver some high quality grooves. As a fellow countryman I might be a bit biased, but take it from me, these guys really deliver. They aren’t afraid to venture into doom metal country as well, which is especially the case on “Aparat”, “Black Lake” and “Dying Mountain.” It says a lot about the open-minded approach on em Rise.
Tank86’s main strength is their ability to write well structured compositions based around memorable guitar riffs and grooves. In that regard a band like Down comes to mind. Rise features some guest contributions as well. Peter van Elderen (Peter Pan Speedrock) plays a really dirty blues-inspired guitar solo on “Axe”, which enhances the rock and roll feel. Tommo Holappa (Dozer) does the same on the speedy “Gottes Krieger”.
The heavy production of Rise gives the album the necessary gritty edge. This really enhances the sludge and stoner experience. I simply love it.
Rise by Tank86 holds its own against anything their American counterparts like Sourvein, Zoroaster, Intronaut, Black Tusk and Minsk can throw at them. In order to describe my state of euphoria about this record I simply quote the immortal words from Down: “The power of the riff compels me!”