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Tad Morose: St. Demonius

If you've followed progressive/power metal closely for the past several years, you can be excused for the surprise you probably expressed upon hearing that Tad Morose has a new album. The Swedish band formed in 1991(!) released some supremely heavy and melodic albums during the early years of the new millennium, including 2003's pièce de résistance Modus Vivendi. After the departure of Dio-influenced vocalist Urban breed, Tad Morose fell silent for almost a decade, returning in 2013 with the hard-to-find Revenant, featuring fifth vocalist Ronny Hemlin, plucked from Steel Attack. And now, almost 25 years on, Tad Morose with Hemlin at the helm have released their eighth album, St. Demonius, and it sounds like the title suggests.

Full of lyrical references to heaven, purgatory and hell; angels, demons and souls; and religion and the secular world — sample line: "Hallowed be thy name/Where ignorance reigns" — St. Demonius makes Tad Morose seem darker, thicker and more claustrophobic than you may remember. But the monstrous melodies that distinguished the Urban breed era remain, as does sole original member Christer "Krunt" Andersson on guitars. The anthems "Black Fire Rising" and "Darkness Prevail" recall Brainstorm and Symphorce, the ferocious "Bow to the Reaper's Blade" will convince you to do just that, and Iced Earth would sacrifice virgins for a song like "Day of Reckoning." Don't expect any power ballads; this is nuts-to-nails for all 12 songs. The only "slower" moments come in "The World Is Growing Old," which echoes Zak Stevens-era Savatage. Sometimes, it's tough to tell the difference between "Fear Subside" and "Dream of Memories," back-to-back ballbusters, and Hamlin tends to over-emote on "The Shadows Play" and "Your Own Demise," but his sinister singing serves this material well.

Does St. Demonius live up to the quality that discerning metal listeners have come to expect from Tad Morose? Repeated spins have convinced me the answer is yes. This band just won't die, and we are all better because of that! With Revenant so difficult to find and thus barely heard, it's fair to place St. Demonius in the running for comeback album of the year.


Track Listing:
1) Bow To The Reaper's Blade
2) Forlorn
3) Where Ignorance Reigns
4) Remain
5) Black Fire Rising
6) Day Of Reckoning
7) The Shadows Play
8) Darkness Prevail
9) Fear Subside
10) Dream Of Memories
11) The World Is Growing Old
12) Your Own Demise

Added: September 22nd 2015
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Tad Morose Website
Hits: 1127
Language: english

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