When Tau Cross released their self titled debut back in 2015, they received a fair bit of press coverage. And rightly so! The brainchild of Amebix frontman – and now master swordsmith – Rob ‘The Baron’ Miller and Voivod drummer Michel ‘Away’ Langevin, this post-punk meets crust/thrash supergroup made an immediate impact with a debut that combined the rhythmic nouse of Killing Joke with a classic UK punk aesthetic.
However, two years between albums is a long time in today’s attention deficit affected world, and now with the release of sophomore effort Pillar Of Fire, the mainstream metal media don’t appear to be quite as interested in what Tau Cross are up to. Simply put, that’s their fucking loss as yet again these veterans have put out an exemplary album.
Pillar Of Fire kicks off with the fantastic “Raising Golem” – another nod to the apocalyptic anthem’s of Killing Joke – and from that point on, the quality does not drop one iota. From the immediacy of the combustible “On The Water” to the folk tinged title track – all complete with more hooks than a cenobyte horde dragging some poor bastard off to the pits of hell – a sense of controlled conflict pervades; heart-wrenching, unnerving and burning with intensity.
Everything that made Tau Cross so special in the first place is present and correct, from the tectonic plate shattering guitars of Jon Misery and Andy Lefton, to Langevin’s obtuse percussive attack, Tau Cross’ deceptively simple formula grinds into your soul with an insistency that’s practically unsurpassed in the current musical climate. Incidentally, Rob Millar is now concentrating solely on being the vocalist and his croaking rasp and baritone delivery is as potent as ever.
Pillar Of Fire is a heavy album in every sense of the word and Miller yet again deserves credit for his wonderful, almost poetic, lyrics which concentrate on the history and folklore of the British Isles. Album highlight, “The Big House”, is a depressingly beautiful paean to common folk trampled on by landowners and press-ganged into fighting wars not of their making, and it’s this sort of intelligence and thought provoking content that sets Tau Cross apart from their peers.
These are depressing times we’re living in and Tau Cross have provided us with the perfect soundtrack. Intense and mired in the filth of mankind, this is the perfect mix of brains and brawn and if you’re looking for an antidote to whatever is the latest lowest common denominator bland-core fad, then look no further than Pillar Of Fire. 9/10