Jan-Simon : And the Tafkap-award for most productive artist in the category metal goes to… Touch the Spider! Less than a year after the release of debut 'I Spit On Your Grave' third album 'Tales Of Woe' has landed on our desk. Or should we say their fourth album, considering that the debut album of this south-German duo was a double cd?
The sound of Touch the Spider! does not seem to have changed very much. It is still characterized by galloping raw riffing and vocals that remind of Wipers and Joy Division. Regarding the latter, it must be said that my main points of criticism for the first two albums are now almost gone: the vocals are a lot better than they used to. Productionwise is it notable that the band has made a lot of progression, so it shows that you learn most by doing it a lot. Tales of Woe sounds great, even though the previous albums did not sound bad either.
Full and reverb-laden, it may serve as a trademark of Touch the Spider! (still with exclamation mark) and where it was a bit over the top on second cd 'Souls For Sale' it is exactly right this time. The production also makes sure the eighties new wave influences turn out well (I already mentioned Wipers and Joy Division, but add to those Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy). OK, the drumming by Cosmic Energy remains a bit simple but who cares. Let's say there is a long forestry tradition in the Black Forest. They know how to chop wood and the pots-and-pans-banging form a nice contrast with the raging, distortion-filled riffs produced by colleague Unholy Ghost.
'Tales Of Woe' is clearly the best album by Touch the Spider! So far. But that could be very different in a year time, if they keep turning out albums in this pace. The only thing that needs to be improved now are the lyrics. Touch the Spider! proved to be a band of melancholy pessimists, that much was clear from their first cd and the interview we had with the band last year. But even then, those lyrics can be a lot better. Who can take lines such as "He hides behind a bush or tree / The sniper from Tennessee" ('Sniper') seriously? Despite this, it should be clear Touch the Spider! (do not forget the exclamation mark!) are here to stay and self-release is not always synonymous for lesser quality.