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Tiamat: The Scarred People

When I was in high school, I used to listen to Bauhaus, the band that brought audiences the classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead." Often considered to be the first truly Goth-infused song, it was nothing short of a masterpiece of mood, style, and tone. I was always intrigued with the restless, even wreckless, guitar playing at the beginning; nothing, however, could take the place of Peter Murphy's dark, yet rich, voice. It was he who captured the essence of the band, its charm, its magic, its mystery. I mention all of this because I hear in Johan Edlund's voice a firm connection to Peter Murphy. I realize that there are other bands, styles, influences, and contexts for what Tiamat is doing but still, listeners surely hear the deeper connections to Bauhaus.

The Scarred People, Tiamat's long-awaited tenth release, arrives just over four years after their last CD. I enjoyed it; the music remains a cool, mellow, and dramatic voice in the Goth-metal scene. I wouldn't say it's as strong as the earlier, more classic, releases, but it's not exactly disappointing either. It's worth a listen, but I don't think it will leave a lasting impression. The tracks are mostly a blend of low-tempo gothic metal, brought to life mostly by Johan Edlund's rich voice. Some of the songs have some cool guitar parts, even a nice solo passage here and there, but more often, things stay close to the simple, dark, and moody pattern they long-ago established. I was really impressed with the genuinely lovely acoustic guitar parts on "Tiznit" but I could have done without the birds chirping in the background. Other tracks, like "The Red of the Morning" feature some nice vocal harmonies, but the album as a whole lacks punch and feels tired.

Track Listing:
1. The Scarred People
2. Winter Dawn
3. 384--Kteis
4. Radiant Star
5. The Sun Also Rises
6. Before Another Wilbury Dies
7. Love Terrorists
8. Messinian Letter
9. Thunder and Lightning
10. Tiznit
11. The Red of the Morning Sun

Added: November 15th 2012
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2444
Language: english

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