Dead Beats: "Placenta" by Tallah
This band's first single will punch you right in the face.
What do you get when you take early 2000s nu metal bands like Korn, Slipknot, and Deftones and jam them into a blender full of heavy metal? Introducing Tallah, an excellent young metal band from Pennsylvania who are making their way on to the scene. Tallah features Max Portnoy, son of legendary Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, on drums and is fronted by the clinically-insane popular YouTube musician and vocalist, Justin Bonitz.
Tallah recently released a cool video for their song "Placenta," giving fans a taste of their upcoming 5-song debut EP. Upon hearing it for the first time, I felt like I had stepped into a time machine that transported me back to an alternative reality version of my high school days, where the world was perpetually on fire. Tallah's sound was both so familiar yet so different at the same time. Max Portnoy himself summed up the song the best in an interview, stating that "It's like 2001, but with all the new age twist you could want and none of the rehashed bullshit."
"Placenta" starts like a Dream Theater song, perhaps in reference to Portnoy's father, before falling into a classic nu metal rapping verse style. The chorus draws strong inspiration from Korn, with vocalist Bonitz nailing his Johnathan Davis impersonation. However, just when you think you know what's coming, the middle veers off a cliff and goes into full on thrash metal, complete with a screaming guitar solo.
"Placenta" is full of surprises and gives off this dark energy that is just hard to describe. This is emphasized further through the song's lyrics and its themes of codependency to the point of being parasitic and suicidal. The best way to describe the song is that it choke-slams the listener to the ground and puts a boot to their throat.
Tallah is not for everyone. Even casual metal fans may not appreciate them. This is a group of guys doing something both intimately familiar and wildly different at the same time, playing with nostalgia and then flipping it on its head. Either way, this is a band you will want to keep an eye on going forward, since they can be your placenta, nourishing you with mind-shattering dark music.