SupertankerFormed in 2007, French groove outfit Supertanker have teamed up with Klonosphere to get their first full length release out. Having released some EP’s which shown some promise, let’s see if this one measures up or if it really is a case of something pulled out of the ashes.

“Temple of Sin” opens the album up and right from the off you can tell what this album is going to give. Its steady paced groove mixed with late nineties Vision of Disorder styled vocals really does give off a hardcore/groove feel. The rhythm work is quite good and the riffs sound thick, especially when the pace is upped, but the vocals, despite being a good fit for the style of music don’t seem to sit just right. “Below Ground” has a big stoner metal styled feel to it and vocally, it’s better than the last track. It stomps its way along, switching up the pace every now and then just to give it a bit of a kick but once more, the rhythm section really shines. “Black Age” is more frantic sounding as it kicks off with some relentless drumming and fast paced riffs and a huge roar from the vocalist before it descends into another chugging groove. Massive drum rolls and fills are all over this track and although they work well, the rhythm kind of overpowers the rest of the song which is a shame.

“Meticulous Crime Against Ourselves” opens up with another southern rock come stoner styled groove. With more of a mid 90’s Pantera vibe to this one, it has a bit more of a kick to it and it’s hard not to tap your foot or nod your head along to it as it rolls on with a swagger about it. “Eternity” opens up clean with a bass focused intro. There’s the first bit of clean vocal work on the album in this short filler track but it doesn’t last long as “Cold” tears right through the brief moment of peace. deep growled vocals and slow, heavy riffs shatter the calm and the song just stomps on. It’s got a really ominous sound to it which really works well. “In Fall We Trust” brings back the more hardcore driven groove sound again with a fast paced, in your face riff-fest of a track. The hard hitting rhythm and thick sounding riffs return again for this one and the vocals work great on this one as they are delivered with attitude and power. The lead guitar work is actually quite good too, all in all, it’s a good track!

“Inside” brings back the slow build-up intro which has a dark tone to it and when the rest of the band kicks in, it switches from a slow paced track to something a lot more upbeat. With relentless drumming and chugging riffs laced with harmonics, it’s taking no prisoners in the verses, but in the chorus it slows down once more. The switching tempos help keep the track flowing and the lead section at the end works quite well too. “Far” has that Vision of Disorder feel to it again so we know what to expect – hard hitting with plenty of bite. The drums are spectacular and the riff is heavy. It’s just a great angry track which in a live setting would surely see some great crowd action! “Used” is a stripped back acoustic number which has a moody feel to it. The guitar work has a great flow to it and the clean vocals work brilliantly which brings the question – why aren’t they utilised more often on this album? The simple melody and vocal harmonies work great and it’s a shame this track is so late in the album. “Antihero” brings back the full on hardcore assault again. Tight rhythm work, fast paced riffs and strong vocals make this one another great song which has me thinking, why start with the weaker songs and finish up strong? Its chugging breakdown with twisting licks over machine-gun like drumming is a treat and the Phil Anselmo styled vocals are a treat too.

“We’re Dying by Our Hands” opens up with a steady paced groove which will get you nodding along but the slowed down, steady chug of the verse loses the momentum the intro gave the track. It does recover its momentum as the song progresses as it builds up the pace and a sense of urgency, but it’s nothing spectacular. “I can’t Live A Second Life” closes the album and it’s the longest track on it. Starting off slowly with some droning guitars, it shifts into a chugging styled riff with plenty of stomp-inducing groove about it. Tight drum work once again holds this track together and when it kicks off properly round the 1:20 mark, the riffs pack quite a punch. The song is full of twisting riffs and a solid heavy groove with some brilliant vocals and it’s a fitting closer for the album helping it end on a strong note.

Overall, for a debut effort, “Songs from the Ashes” is not a bad album but it’s not a good album either on the same note. It’s just your typical middle of the road, mid-90’s hardcore throwback album which came out nearly 20 years too late. It has some good moments and one or two standout tracks but that’s about it really.

(5/10 Fraggle)