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Tarot: Gravity Of Light

Away from his day job in Nightwish, bassist / vocalist Marco Hietala has a long-time parallel career with Tarot, a band he formed with his brother, guitarist Zachary, back in the early 80's. Over the past twenty years or so, interspersed by some periods of inactivity, Tarot have issued eight studio and two live albums. As you would expect they have a considerable following in their native Finland and Gravity of Light debuted at Number 2 in the Finnish charts last month. Inevitably they have received wider acclaim outside of Scandinavia as a result of Marco's role in Nightwish and, now under the Nuclear Blast umbrella, Gravity of Light should continue to win them more new admirers.

With Marco's vocal drawing favourable comparisons with Udo, the vibe is set early on opener "Satan is Dead" no nonsense European Power Metal with chugging riffs and more than a hint of melody. Tarot opt for a twin vocal approach with Marco aided by newcomer Tommi Salmela that gives the vocals a symphonic quality and makes for some huge sounding choruses. Stand out track is "The Pilot Of All Dreams", a scorching fist pumping anthem that has that unmistakable Maiden-esque gallop and is further enhanced by some furious soloing from Zachary. After that, the more atmospheric "Magic and Technology" is something of a mid-album plodder but proves to be a minor blip as it is followed by the powerful and dramatic "Calling Down The Rain" and the rasping menace of "Caught in the Deadlights". The outstanding power ballad "Gone" closes the album and is a throwback to Dio-era Rainbow and would have sat comfortably on Rising or Long Live Rock N Roll; Marco in particular excels on this release and Tarot really seem to be going from strength to strength. This is an album that demands to be played live and the band has a number of dates booked over the rest of the year including an appearance at ProgPower USA in Atlanta.

Already available across all of Europe, Gravity of Light is released in the US on June 8th.


Track Listing
01. Satan Is Dead
02. Hell Knows
03. Rise!
04. The Pilot Of All Dreams
05. Magic And Technology
06. Calling Down The Rain
07. Caught In The Deadlights
08. I Walk Forever
09. Sleep In The Dark
10. Gone

Added: June 3rd 2010
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1167
Language: english

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