Metal To Infinity

Theodor Tuff? It doesn’t ring me a bell. Nevertheless this seems to be the second album of this Norwegian band. So no, this is not the name of a person but from a true band that is rather popular in Norway. Their debut made it to the Norwegian charts and as far as I’ve read also this album hits the charts of this Scandinavian country. I don’t really know what to expect but my senses are focused when I notice Jeff Waters (Annihilator), Martin Buus (Mercenary), Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) and some other lent their talents to this release. This record is by the way mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pestilence…). Nough said? 

So, this album takes off with an intro that reminds you of  Therion. Still I don’t know what to expect but soon after I am witnessing some pure melodic Heavy Metal with a special atmosphere. Theodor Tuff is traditional, yet modern…sounds like something you heard so many times before, yet refreshing… Difficult to label, easy to get into without being cheesy…  

With two guitar players, a bassist, drummer and a very good vocalist Theodor Tuff takes shape and it proves how traditional they really are. Making music that is harmonious all the way, knows choruses and refrains that are ‘easy on the ear’, yet special enough to keep your attention all the way. Some subtle female voices in the background, an orient impulse on the perfect moments… Awesome! A bit of AOR, enough technical to be almost Progressive, Metal tunes we used to know from the old Evergrey and many of the other, better modern Metal bands… 

What I hear are five musicians who are experimental enough to impress, catapulted in a realm of creativity. But Theodor Tuff is all the way harmonized, writes one stunning after another fantastic track in which there’s always something to discover. Melodic enough for a wider public, heavy enough to keep lots of Metal fans under their spell. And yes, those leads are just spectacular, Christer Haroy is responsible for them…. The sound on this disc is just perfect, fantastic mixed and can be described as being both expressive and melodic, especially in the vocal and guitar sections as a result of harmonized layering.  

Although the vocal parts contains nothing sublime or special timbres, although there are no high shrieks or any extremely strong lungs that makes your eyes wide shut Terje Haroy strikes you very hard with his vocal sound. The man’s voice is warm and strong and his vocal lines fits this kind of music very well… This album contains strong heavy tracks, fantastic ballads (“Lullaby”), time after time I’m astonished.  

Yes, this is a surprisingly good album and I suppose Norway is the only country on earth where good Metal can be tasted by the inhabitants. No wonder this kind of music makes it to the charts and I really wonder how much more talent is hidden in this land! No doubts this is one of the better albums of 2011, making a good chance to make it to my top 20…

My Points: 89 / 100 (Review by Officer Nce)