TIAMAT “The Scarred People”

Release Date: November 2012

Label: Napalm Records

From the early days of Swedish death metal underground to the magic of the atmospheric doom/death scene and from the creepingly straightforward praising of drugs to the more radio-friendly gothic rock moments, TIAMAT always were one of those remarkable bands of the 90s who constantly changed their direction yet always maintained their distinctive sound in any of their releases.

Although by the start of 00s most of these bands seemingly lost their magic touch and kept recording mostly because this had become their everyday job, Johan Edlund & Co. stayed coherent to quality even against quantity (their last three records have spaces of 5 and 4 years between them) and with no intention for stagnation and safety in terms of dealing with their music. So, after the virulent and introvert, Crowley-ian gothic rock of “Prey” and the clearly heavier and aggressive “Amanethes”, the Swedes return this time with a more loose mood and the directness of a rock approach floating over their material.

Although the straight-to-the-bone SISTERS OF MERCY self-titled track that opens “The Scarred People” sets the mood for a backwards move to the “Skeleton…”/“Judas…” era, the record holds small surprises probably not expected by those dreaming of an equally “metallic” continuation after their previous release. Take “Winter Dawn” for example with it’s laid-back, almost pop refrain full of multiple vocal layers or the fantastic guitar soloing that closes “Love Terrorists” –the bluesy six-string playing is generally responsible for numerous magnificent parts in this recording. The rather classic (latter era) TIAMAT moments are present here too; the mysterious “384” and “Radiant Star” more specifically, but its tracks like “The Sun Also Rises” and “Messinian Letter” that lift the record to greater heights by producing a welcome emotional tension which verges on the indie/alternative songwriting, always filtered by the band’s ever-present, unique prism.

As a (literally) final note we leave the sensational “Red Of The Morning Sun” filling our speakers with its appropriate –now the season’s changed for good- autumnal melancholy, and we can feel somewhat relieved that some of our old heroes, after all they changes they endured through the years, keep on making their own way and justify the reasons for which we became connected to them. See you again in 4-5 years, Johan, old pal…

~ by antifleshnimbus on November 1, 2012.

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