It’s been awhile since I’ve graced All About The Rock with a review: this has been down to work commitments and more importantly the birth of my daughter! Anyway back to the task in hand, as people who have read my reviews know, I like to pick albums at random and see if I can find any new bands that are amazing (Twins Crew, Game Over, Overthrow etc). However, this also brings with it the problem of discovering bands that are awful/or releases that are awful…no I won’t name any! This time around, I’m taking on the self-titled album from Spanish power metallers Taken!
So I have stumbled upon Taken as I was advised they are a power metal band and I’ve not listened to a new power metal album since the great Gloryhammer’s last release Space 1992: Rise of the Choas Wizards. So what can I say that tell you about Taken? Well not a lot really: they are hard to track down on the internet. Unless they are an Irish pop trio, then I can find a bit about them and I’ve been played a cruel joke! Oh, my beloved Old Ones why have you forsaken me!
Anyway, on I must endeavour for the sake of AATR (and my sanity) and so I press play…
Well I can confirm this for the debut album from Taken:
Kick Drums Galore ✅
Over the top keyboard use ✅
Slow ballad to break the album up ✅
Higher than balls caught in a vice vocals ✅
Soaring higher than a dragon duelling guitar solos ❎
Now, Taken haven’t “taken” the fantasy power metal route of bands like Gloryhammer, Rhapsody, Blind Guardian, Battlelore, Elvenking etc. They are more in the vein of Edguy, Almah, Eldritch…while power metal at heart cover a whole host of topics and not just fantasy story telling.
The problem with this album – and a few power metal albums – is that the drums (especially the kick drums) are too high in the mix and the main focus point of the music. Also Taken are guilty of another power metal irk, which is making the keyboards take the place of the guitar solos! (Especially Taken, as they have 2 keyboardists). When you want the two guitarists to let soar with the riffs and duel each other for the solo you end up with keyboards taking the limelight…the guitarists do have time to shine on the album and play some good riffs. However the keyboards are then sometimes added to the riffs, maybe they thought it enhanced the riffs? (It doesn’t).
Another (small) gripe is the vocalist. When he sings in a high pitch he becomes a little unbearable and hard to understand. Now English is probably not his native language and his grasp is probably better than some people I know who are English. Just that when he hits the high notes it all gets lost in the mix, maybe it’s a production problem? The singer is at his best when he isn’t as “balls in a vice” and opts for a lower pitch.
Overall this is a decent album and a solid debut, it just isn’t anything memorable. However, the boys in Taken seem to be having a great time and that’s what matters and they are carrying the metal banner for Spain! If you are a diehard power metal fiend then this album will probably have something for you that you will enjoy. If you are new to the genre then I would look elsewhere first.
Score: 6.5 out of 10
1. Tales of Glory
2. Modern Messiah
3. Wormy Brains
4. On The Road Again
6. Forgotten Realms
7. Under The Skies of Asia
8. The Last Deadly Deeds
9. The Seven Seas
10. Distant Shores
11. Slaughter of the Last Curse
18th of October 2016
For fans of…
Gloryhammer, Rhapsody, Eldritch
Order Taken here!