CD Review of The End Begins by Tantric
Recommended if you like
Days of the New, Fuel, 3 Doors Down
Label
Silent Majority
Tantric: The End Begins

Reviewed by Bill Clark

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T
alk about rising from the dead. Tantric is a band that some may recall from about seven years ago. They had two massive radio hits (“Breakdown” and “Mourning”) and managed to go platinum while riding the coattails of established acts of the time such as Creed and Kid Rock. In their defense, the two singles were both good songs, and my following them was largely due to the fact that I was a huge Days of the New fan (Tantric originally consisted of the members that Days of the New frontman Travis Meeks booted, plus vocalist Hugo Ferreira).

Well, over the past few years, Tantric has pretty much gone the way of Days of the New -- every member, except Ferreira, quit for various reasons. An album called Tantric III was supposed to have been released in 2006, but was canned by the label after everyone jumped ship. Now, Ferreira is back with a whole new lineup -- former Fuel drummer Kevin Miller is now on drums, Joe Pessia is on guitar, Erik Leonhardt takes over on bass, and, in the most interesting development, Marcus Ratzenboeck has entered the band on electric violin -- and The End Begins is a real mixed bag overall. Not only is it dated, but it is overproduced to a fault.

“Regret” kicks the album off, and it’s not a bad light rocker. Ferreira quickly establishes himself as the centerpiece; the track has solid vocals, and is peppered with a decent guitar solo. The single, “Down & Out,” introduces us to the likes of Ratzenboeck’s violin, and his intro may be the heaviest a violin can possibly sound. The track stands as the album’s best, and it’s never a good sign when the single is the best song on the album. “The One” was actually written before the previous incarnation of Tantric bailed, but has since been recomposed and includes a guest appearance from Candlebox vocalist Kevin Martin. This doesn’t prevent the tune from being shamelessly repetitive. From here on out the proceedings get old – and fast. “Love Song” is flat-out bad and the title track doesn’t fare much better. Ferreira has overloaded nearly every song with strings and it rings of falsity.

I give nothing but props to Ferreira for trying to revive this band, but, much like Days of the New, there has been too much turnover to maintain any sense of groove or consistency. Adding Ratzenboeck’s violin probably seemed great on paper, but it barely qualifies as evolution – especially when it’s overused. Fans would be much better off digging up the band’s original, self-titled release and reminiscing about the good old days, when a song like “Breakdown” was even capable of being a number one single in the United States. As for Ferreira, he has a great voice and would be better off with a new project.

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