Album review: Tenside – Come Alive Dying

Munich metalcore stalwarts Tenside keep fighting the good fight on reliably chunky eighth album Come Alive Dying…

Album review: Tenside – Come Alive Dying
Sam Law

I am not afraid of dying,’ growls Tenside vocalist Daniel Kuhlemann on the title-track to smashing eighth album Come Alive Dying, ‘I am afraid I haven’t been alive.’ It’s a poignant observation from the German journeymen. Still chasing the mid-2000s metalcore dream after 19 years as a band despite never having tasted the success of so many contemporaries, defeatist minds might have conceded that their shot had passed, but these 12 tracks feel like a promise that Tenside won’t give up the chase until the instruments are prised from their cold, dead hands.

That’s not to say there’s much scrappy, underdog energy here. Instead, a sense of bludgeoning heavyweight grandeur – all beefy technicality, shining production and massive choruses – enlivens bangers like Shadow To Shine and Darkness To Blight, the sort that could only come from artists with this kind of tenure. In songs like Pitch And Gold and Aim For Paradise, too, there’s a knack for dialling back the bludgeon to explore huge atmospheric soundscapes without compromising heaviness.

Perhaps most fascinating is seeing how far Tenside have come. Hold Come Alive Dying up against their rowdy 2007 debut My Personal War and you’ll see how they’ve incorporated new technology, evolved as musicians and expanded as songwriters, but also how the wrathful energy and bloody-knuckled fury of late-album highlights Transcend and Vengeance is so in tune with the angry young men they used to be. By cataclysmic closer Dust Of The Bereaved, they’ve emptied the tanks both creatively and emotionally. Veteran metalcore aficionados can’t really ask for more than that.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Killswitch Engage, Caliban, In Flames

Come Alive Dying is out now via Ivorytower

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