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Tad Morose: Leaving the Past Behind

If you surfed onto this page after listening to Tad Morose's recent albums Undead and Matters of the Dark, and expect their pre-Breed era CDs to be like their current work, then let me forewarn you. Tad Morose started out as a dark prog metal band and their albums with vocalist Kristian Andren (Fifth Reason, Meduza, Memento Mori, Wuthering Heights) are somewhat different to their last two releases. The music is dark, slow, progressive, heavily influenced by atmospheric keyboards and emotional lyrics. While Andren's range is no where near Breed's, he is definitely a very versatile singer. I have every CD featuring him on vocals and I think he released his best work with Tad Morose, especially the Sender of Thoughts album.

Leaving The Past Behind is Tad Morose's debut effort released in 1993. The line-up of the band has changed over the years. It's a shame drummer Dan-Erik Eriksson would only play on Leaving, because his drum sound is amazing. The drumming is one of my favorite elements of this album. Also the bassist Per-Ola Olsson was replaced after Sender of Thoughts. So, with a completely different rhythm section minus a keyboard player, the current Tad Morose has become a heavy/power metal band with dual guitars and an aggressive singer, while the original band was more interested in experimenting with progressive songwriting elements consisting of many interesting key and tempo changes. Not that I dislike the current Tad Morose, it's just that they have changed their style drastically over the last 5 years.

The album opens with "Eternal Lies" after a slow and haunting intro. Andren's vocals might sound weak in the beginning but once you get used to his style you will definitely love it. He does an amazing job, particularly in each chorus of the songs. The third song "Voices Are Calling" and fourth song "Reach for the Sky" are perfect representatives of what Leaving The Past Behind sounds like. Christer Andersson's guitar solo in "Voices Are Calling", although a bit poorly produced, is one of the most fitting and sharpest guitar solos to have been recorded on a prog album. The solo in "Eyes of a Stranger" is also haunting. It is also this song, in my opinion, which the band obviously spent a lot of time on to create their sophomore album Sender of Thoughts, which has a bigger and better production.

"Save Me" was the first song on the album that clicked with me, perhaps due to the minimal playing. It took me more than a few spins to get into the Andren-era while Undead with Urban Breed worked for me right from the start. It must be the proggy touch and the less polished production. The chorus of this song has stuck in my mind for years. It is very strong, but I wouldn't say the song fits very well with the rest of the album, even though it sounds very heartfelt. The title track has a great symphonic intro that slowly builds up and is complemented by intricate instrumental sections with Andren exhibiting a nice vocal performance. In "Reflections" the band members show their prowess as a unit with their long instrumental parts and Andren only intervening to add some vocals over the very progressive songwriting. This song itself shows that one of Tad Morose's strongest sides is their beautiful compositions. The drummer and bassist provide great rhtythms that are just too good to ignore. Anyone who says it is hard to headbang to prog music should check this song out. Especially Swedish prog bands do a fantastic job as far as rhythm sections are concerned. The album closes with "Way of History" which is a song that combines elements from every song including Andren's deep vocals.

Track Listing:

  1. Eternal Lies
  2. Miracle
  3. Voices Are Calling
  4. Reach for the Sky
  5. Eyes of a Stranger
  6. Save Me
  7. 1388
  8. Leaving The Past Behind
  9. Reflections
  10. Way of History

Added: March 20th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Tad Morose's Web Site
Hits: 5634
Language: english

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