When it came to recording a full-length album, Taint was definitely a late bloomer. The Welsh trio was formed in 1994, but it wasn't until 2004 that Taint finally recorded their first full-length album, The Ruin of Nová Roma (although they were heard on various EPs, split CDs, and demos along the way). Stylistically, this excellent CD isn't easy to pin down. Taint plays metal -- that much is obvious -- but what kind of metal? Their sound is quite sludgy -- sludgy as in doom metal and stoner rock, sludgy as in grunge-influenced -- and there are parallels between Taint and bands like Fu Manchu, Orange Goblin, Eyehategod, and the Melvins. But it would be a mistake to think of this album as strictly a by-the-book doom/stoner/sludge outing. Doom and stoner bands are often Black Sabbath-obsessed, and the abundance of slow, plodding riffs that have come from doom metal and stoner rock clearly worship at the altar of Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. But Taint, instead of going out of their way to emulate Sabbath, also gets plenty of inspiration from the speed and velocity of punk, thrash, and hardcore; they know how to be both sludgy and thrashy at the same time, which isn't to say that the CD doesn't have its share of slow-tempo material as well. Throw in some twangy Southern alt-metal influence (of the Alabama Thunderpussy variety) and a bit of Neurosis' atmospherics, and you have a band that is clearly striving for originality -- a band that is definitely relevant to the doom/stoner/sludge field but also has its share of punk, thrash, hardcore, and alternative metal appeal. And never let it be said that Taint lacks a sense of humor; "I'm Going to Kill Henry Ford" and "Drunken Marksman" are among the song titles on this promising, memorable release.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson