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Year: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Century Media
Genre: [Extreme Metal/Thrash Metal/Speed Metal]
Overall Rating: 7.5
Music: 7.0
Production: 8.0

Tenet might seem like a new name to the extreme metal scene, but it has actually been founded already back in the summer of 1996 by guitarist Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad & Zimmer’s Hole). Being busy with his main bands Simon never had the chance to finish the song material for Tenet... until now that Strapping Young Lad disbanded. Joining his former band mates bassist Byron Stroud (Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad & Zimmer’s Hole) and drummer Gene Hoglan (Death, Dark Angel, Strapping Young Lad, etc.) the music easily gets the SYL stamp although it's not exactly accurate description of the band - the music is more straight-forward and old school and reminds more early Zimmer's Hole and SYL than late ones. Glen Alvelais (ex-Forbidden) accompanies Simon's inventive riffing and vocal duties are handled by Steve “Zetro” Souza (Legacy & Exodus) contributing a classic thrash metal feel to Tenet.

Song material on Tenet's debut album is extreme thrash metal in the true sense of the word - energetic, fast-paced and aggressive. The remarkable line-up consisting of respected thrash and extreme metal players doesn't alone guarantee satisfaction, however, and in my case it actually raised my expectations rather high... knowing that three members of this band were involved with the two of the most memorable thrash metal albums in past years (namely Zimmer's Hole's "When You Were Shouting at the Devil... We Were in the League with Satan" and Strapping Young Lad's "The New Black") one can't help but feel slightly let down by Sovereign. The music and singing gets quickly monotonous and there's not much dynamic variance nor memorable hooks on the songs. Interestingly the most memorable track of the album has also the slowest pace - that song, Going Down, also features Souza singing with more diversity. Hopefully in their future releases Tenet will slow down the tempo more often and be more adventurous with vocals.

Production on Sovereign has been done well. Jed Simon himself mixed the album together with Vincent Wojno (Machine Head, Kreator, Trouble, etc.) and the album has a distinctive in-your-face sound. Andy Sneap (Megadeth, Opeth, Arch Enemy, etc.) handled the mastering as proficiently as ever. All in all, Sovereign is an impressive debut effort that improves towards the end... if you don't mind the slight monotonity and like your metal loud and heavy, you should definitely give Sovereign a listen.

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- MAGE (August, 11th 2009)

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Simon, Jed : Guitars
Stroud, Byron: Bass
Alvelais, Glen: Guitars
Souza, Steve “Zetro”: Vocals
Hoglan, Gene: Drums
Producer: Simon, Jed
Mixing by: Simon, Jed & Wojno, Vincent
Mastering by: Sneap, Andy
Tenet - Sovereign  CD  Cover Image
01. Being and Nothingness
02. Indulge Me
03. Crown of Thorns
04. Unnameable
05. Take a Long Line
06. Going Down
07. Hail! Hail!
08. Watching You Burn
09. Sovereign

Length: 34:28
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