ALBUM REVIEW: Tenside – Glamour & Gloom

Release Date: March 20th 2020
Label: Ivory Tower Records


Returning with an impressive second wind after ‘Convergence’, metalcore quartet Tenside have doubled down on the winning formula for eighth full-length, ‘Glamour & Gloom’.

Duelling melodies signal the beginning of the record, with the title-track diving in breakneck riffs and half step chords in equal measure. Whilst ‘Glamour & Gloom’ admittedly sticks to the standard metalcore formula, the breakneck changes in the verses and the solid chorus hook elevate the track to a strong opening.

Spreading out slightly with ‘As Above So Below’, a bouncing groove underpins Michael Klingenberg‘s eerie leads as Daniel Kuhlemann delivers a roaring and dominating vocal delivery. With a stomping beat and a sludge-tinged breakdown, it infuses enough twists and turns to deviate from the tried and true topes of the genre.

Whilst the beginning of the record doesn’t stray too far from the blueprint, the perfectionism that has gone into the craft of the tracks can be appreciated. From the arena ready and irresistible chorus found in ‘Along With The Gods’ to the swinging and stamping ‘Cannibals’, the quartet highlight their strengths, with the inclusion of Kuhlemann‘s solid clean vocal hook in the latter proving to be a prominent highlight.

Delivering a haunting presence in ‘The Devil Within’, Tenside slide between shoegaze style fragility and bellowing riffs taken from the death metal rulebook with ease. Creating a new avenue, the song creates a pivot point for the quartet, if they choose to pursue it further at a later date.

For the meantime, ‘Glamour & Gloom’ is content in delivering bone rattling riffs and skull crushing breakdowns, something that’s overwhelmingly evident on ‘Only The Brave’, creating a howling chorus whilst ‘Overcome’ jumps headfirst into double-kick led grooves and throat shredding vocals.

Whilst the record mainly focuses on their blueprint and stadium ready choruses, there are highlights to be found throughout. With ‘The Last Anthem’ taking cues from death ‘n’ roll and ‘All Black Everything’ utilising more space than usual to create a dynamically rich conclusion, Tenside simultaneously deliver both power and restraint.

Whilst there may be weaker moments, ‘Glamour & Gloom’ provides a refreshing run through the second wave of metalcore whilst proving that it can still be finessed. Delivering a polished and refined sound, Tenside have released their strongest record yet.