Marcel H. : Finally, there it is. The follow-up to ‘Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times’. It took five years. In the meantime the band around Toby Wright has had a successful performance at Roadburn (already some four years ago, in 2014) and guitarist Alastair Riddell has been replaced by Daniel Knight and bass player Richard Bruce by Leo Smee (With The Dead, ex-Cathedral). Has this had any effect on the music? Not really, everything is still largely written by Toby, even though Leo Smee has contributed somewhat and especially when it comes to arrangements.
Musically is has shifted a bit away from doom and it is more heavy metal than before. Clear influences from the NWOBHM can be discerned, listen especially to the solos. During a song such as ‘The Trial Of Blackwynn Chaise’ Age Of Taurus reminds me of The Lamp Of Thoth and Arkham Witch because of the shout along kind of singing there, that song is also characterized by serene female vocals. Something I did not see coming at all. Those female vocals fit the song perfectly. All songs contain parts you’d not expect when you’re familiar with Age Of Taurus’ previous work. It is because of this that it took some time before the album managed to grab me. But after multiple spins everything falls into place. The riffs in ‘Dreams We Die’ can be hummed along to immediately and also the euphoric and slight epic closing title song ‘The Colony Slain’ immediately takes hold of you. Such a shame it only lasts for three minutes and 38 seconds. Oh yeah, and anyone who knows the answer please let me know, because I can’t put my finger on it. The melody lines in ‘The Colony Slain’ come across as very familiar, however I can’t place them exactly. After multiple spins however I dare conclude that ‘The Colony Slain’ is as strong as its predecessor ‘Desperate Souls Of Tortured Times.’