I first learned about Talanas when I heard they were opening for My Dying Bride on MDB's forthcoming European tour. My Dying Bride had this to say about their opening act: "We wanted British, and we wanted quality. Enough said."
Indeed. Well, no - not quite enough said. For to get at what is really floating my musical boat at the moment, we must pose three questions: Is it British? Is it quality? And does it feature downtuned 7-string guitars?
A quick google image search revealed two important things:
1. 7-string guitars!
2. Frontman Hal Sinden knows how to rock a waistcoat.
Then I googled up some reviews of their debut album, "The Waspkeeper," and found one that was all like, "This band rocks, but they would be so much more awesome if they would just stick to da metalz and cut the bits where they try to be Fields of the Nephilim."
Which basically sold me on the album. Because I have no problem with people trying to be Fields of the Nephilim. My fondest musical wish is that Fields of the Nephilim would spend more time trying to be Fields of the Nephilim, but they have day jobs. So, if someone else wants to pick up some of the slack, I'm all for it.
Having listened to some of the tracks from "The Waspkeeper," I would say it doesn't actually sound very much like Fields of the Nephilim. At least not in any of the most obvious senses - there are no slide guitar leads, no spaghetti western-esque riffs, no thumping Tony Pettit bass lines. There is, however, a certain emphasis on dynamics, a contrasting of light and dark, of heavy and atmospheric, that's very Nephilim-esque in spirit. In terms of the obvious musical genre markers, Talanas are doing a kind of progressive death metal that more readily invites comparison to Akercocke or Opeth.
At any rate, if you fancy a metal band that is engaging to the brain, harsh on the ear, and easy on the eyes, do check out Talanas. Here's the video for their song, "Antiphon":