There aren't many bands who are still together after 50 years and even fewer that are recording new material. Scottish rockers, Nazareth are one of the lucky ones. When singer Dan McCafferty left many doubted the group's future, but they fell on their feet by finding Persian Risk singer Carl Sentance. We all know what disasters can befall even the greatest of rock bands if the singer isn't up to the job of performing the back catalogue. Luckily, Sentance was able to stay true to McCafferty's legacy without sounding like an inferior copycat. Although he's toured with Nazareth since 2015 and proved the naysayers wrong, this is his first recording with the band. Tattooed On My Brain is a chance for Nazareth to revitalise their music and pull in some new fans. In founding member Pete Agnew's words 'Carl's given the band a new lease of life.'
Their 24th album is undoubtedly the most substantial material they have recorded since the 90s, and there are some songs on the album that could easily be added to the Nazareth wall of fame. Packed with ballsy rock songs, a harder, heavier edge (informed by Sentance's love of heavy metal), smooth blues overtones and just good rock songs from the first to the last.
Never Dance With The Devil throws everything into the mix with a grinding riff and Sentance bombastically showing off his vocal range and marking his territory with a well-placed snarl. The title track's punk attitude and the ridiculously catchy chorus is one of many earworms on the album. Pole To Pole's pop rock overtones suit the band's modern production, and the banshee note bends on the vocal lift to another stratosphere. Sentance testifies this with his distinctive bite, “it's sink or swim”, and five tracks in it's evident that the past doesn't anchor the band. Three years of touring with the new line up have helped their cohesion and their unwavering passion courses through every track. Push's lazy southern feel and tight knit harmonies give a retro feel while Silent Symphony and What Goes Around are heavier enough to tick the modern box, but have that melodic riffing for which Nazareth has always been known.
Their new found vibrancy is delivered across the album making the band sound as if they have been going for a fraction of the time. Armed with some memorable tunes, dependable riffs and a front-man who can out air siren Bruce Dickinson, Nazareth have easily added another few years to their fifty. Razamanaz indeed.
Groupie Rating 4/5