Tantric looks forward to new and better days

Just as alternative act Days of New was about to embark on a tour with Metallica in 1998, the band shattered to pieces. Front man Travis Meeks split from his fellow band mates after months of hostility over artistic differences. All alone, Meeks kept the Days of the New name while the other three members returned home to Louisville, Ky., distraught and out of work.

Ex-Days members did not hit the gutter even without their old band name. After three years of development, members Jesse Vest, Matt Taul and Todd Whitener, along with newcomer Hugo Ferreira, are back with their new band Tantric. Returning with an edgier blend of hard rock than previous Days of the New work, Tantric’s louder sound and new front man prove to the modern rock world these men will not be silenced.

Tantric’s self-titled debut, showcases a group of evolving musicians who have moved past their trademark acoustic sound in exchange for a more powerful acoustic-electric blend. The result is a mix of full-bodied hard rock tracks with intelligent vocalization and harmony. Remnants of the acoustic Days of the New sound are still present in more than one corner of this record.

Tantric (Warner Bros.), released Feb. 20, is a blend of styles from 3 Doors Down and Creed. New vocalist Hugo Ferreira’s looks and voice are strikingly similar to Creed lead singer Scott Strapp. Some vocal and guitar patterns used in this album are reminiscent of early ’90s groups Temple of the Dog and Alice in Chains.

The album opens with the current single “Breakdown,” a bitter reference to the breakup of Days of the New years earlier. “Breakdown” could quite possibly become this year’s version of 3 Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” among the modern rock charts. It has a catchy and popish sound that is already getting frequent airtime on modern rock radio stations.

Other songs that stand out on the album include “Live Your Life (Down),” “Paranoid,” “Astounded, Frequency” and “Hate Me.” Each of the tracks relies heavily on the fusion of the acoustic and electric guitar. The blend of the two distinct guitar sounds creates a naturalistic sound accompanied by powerful, moody and often distorted electric influence.

The vocals work in much the same way as the guitars. Ferreria’s deep, thunderous voice is backed by the more melodic vocals of Whitener. The songs are draped with morose lyrics of unpleasant past experiences. Lyrics often tell tales of self-awareness and failed communication, giving the album a dismal feel. Distortions of the acoustic guitar are one the most compelling elements on this record.

There are many connections between the Tantric record and the first Days of the New album. Tantric is much more upbeat than the proceeding Days of the New recording. The new band has opted for a more modernized, trendy sound, while Days of the New went on to create a more experimental, worldly sound with its second album, Days of the New II.

Tantric is now involved in a small club tour spanning the southeastern United States. The band will also open for upcoming Kid Rock and Fuel shows. The group’s desire for rock-star status may have failed once with Days of the New, but the possibility of a breakdown is nowhere to be found with Tantric.
-Tantric is in stores now

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