Tau Cross - live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Tau Cross

live in Philadelphia (2016)

live show

The fact is, no one knew quite what to expect before Tau Cross’ first ever Philadelphia gig. Although they released their excellent debut LP last year, the supergroup, which includes Rob Miller of Amebix, Michele Lagevin of Voivod, John Misery of Misery, and Andy Lefton of War//Plague, wasn’t quantificable in the live context, if only, because the album seemed to be very much a studio affair, in vein of those great 70s LPS.

Well, as soon as the band took the stage, they made their identity clear. Performing the vast majority of the new album, the band reveled in thee holee majistee of thee mighty riff, reveling in a massive, energetic sound. Unlike other metal and metalish groups, the band rolled through their tunes with a brutish dirtiness that gave the songs both a gusto and authenticity. While modern thrashers might focus on technical stylings, Tau Cross, with several members coming from punk backgrounds, were more concerned with soul than thumb theatrics.

It paid off well, giving the whole performance the massive weight of a classic metal show (meeting somewhere between Judas Priest and Celtic Frost style power) but it had the energy and chaoritc feel of punk rock. Indeed, it seemed that sometimes the tunes gained so much momentum that the band was propelled by the song, rather than visa-versa.

Interestingly, frontman Rob Miller has handed of bass duties to a band new comer and has is now focusing solely on vocals. Of course, that famous glass and tar growl was ever present- if anything, Miller’s vocal chords implied that this was no fancy-boy show: Tau Cross is something heavy and dark and genuine. Perhaps surprisingly, whereas so many metal frontman stand still during the show to import a sort of dark-sage façade, Miller was in a state of constant motion, throwing his energy back into the energy of the band. Is this performance style influenced by mid-period Ozzy jumpiness? Rob Halford’s Breakin-the-law-wind-sprints? Or maybe the manic performances of Eve Libertine and John Lydon?

If anything, Miller’s performance, quite like the band, is a coagulation of sources that form to create something new- and something ancient. Tau Cross has members from fairly diverse backgrounds, but in coming together, they form a new identity- an identity that suggest that they all were exploring the same unseen force all along. This band kicks ass live.