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Review: Twisted Tower Dire - Wars in the Unknown
Twisted Tower Dire
Wars in the Unknown

Label: No Remorse Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 41:10
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: March 23, 2019
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.3/5 (86%) (20 Votes)

It's been eight years since the release of Twisted Tower Dire's last album, Make It Dark, which in retrospect I was too kind to. This was once one of the greatest metal bands around, and I was so ready for them to make a comeback that I overlooked too many flaws. Hard to believe it has already been 12 years since their last album with Tony Taylor brought their classic era to an end.

So now we have a new album, and a return to form in several respects. First, the production is way better, with a mean, heavy guitar sound that harks back to albums like Crest of the Martyrs. Also, the riffs here are wayyy better, seeming to have jettisoned much of the punk-rock, simplistic approach that marred their last album. The riffs here sound like actual Twisted Tower Dire riffs, and that goes a long way toward making this a stronger album. Jonny Aune has always been a good singer, but this time with the guitars beefed up he meshes better with the rest of the band. If he has a weakness, it's that he can't seem to create vocal melodies that stack up to the compulsive catchiness that was Taylor's trademark.

The album starts out strong with songs like "True North" and the album highlight "Light the Swords on Fire". These are songs that are pretty close to good enough to stand up with classic Twisted Tower Dire material. Not quite, but almost. The second half of the album loses momentum, and while the riffs stay solid, the vocal lines are just kind of average. Aune has a powerful voice and a lot of charisma, but his ear for melodies is just not as spot on as Taylor's was. "And the Sharks Came Then" is just kind of enormously stupid, and the album never really recovers. The guitars sound good, the riffs sound good, but the songs just blur past and afterward you won't remember them.

I wanted to like this better than I do. I remember classic works like The Isle of Hydra and want them to do more of that, but I guess it is probably asking too much. Still, this is an album that is what I would call solid, even if it only has one or two really ace songs. Good enough.

More about Twisted Tower Dire...
Review: Crest of the Martyrs (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Crest of the Martyrs Demos (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Crest of the Martyrs Demos (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Make it Dark (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Make it Dark (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Netherworlds (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Curse Of Twisted Tower (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Isle Of Hydra (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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