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Buaas, Anders: Tarot

This slab of accessible and invigorating instrumental progressive rock features 22 musical pieces that sonically describe the 22 Major Arcana Tarot cards -- as interpreted by Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Anders Buaas. I know nothing about tarot cards but still reveled in Buaas’s mastery of both melody and instruments as diverse as mandolin and theremin, banjo and glockenspiel. No two tracks sound the same, yet these 22 songs play like a 77-minute suite. And that’s how this record should be played: In order. (And in awe.)

Songs range in length from 1:19 (“Temperance,” a lush acoustic guitar interlude) to 7:35 for “The Hierophant” -- which begins as one of the album’s more introspective pieces anchored by acoustic guitar and keyboards, then turns into a laid-back hoedown and segues into a finale that echoes a Neal Morse epic.

Although Buaas previously was a touring guitarist for Paul DiAnno (ex-Iron Maiden) and Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest and ex-Iced Earth), none of the songs here hedge into metal territory. They don’t need to, because they’re already damn near perfect.

Track Listing:
1. The Fool
2. The Magician
3. The High Priestess
4. The Empress
5. The Emperor
6. The Hierophant
7. The Lovers
8. The Chariot
9. Strength
10. The Hermit
11. Fortune
12. Justice
13. The Hanged Man
14. Death
15. Temperance
16. The Devil
17. The Tower
18. The Star
19. The Moon
20. The Sun
21. Judgement
22. The World

Added: January 6th 2022
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Anders Buaas on Bandcamp
Hits: 1188
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Buaas, Anders: Tarot
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2022-01-07 03:36:03
My Score:

Some of you may not be familiar with Norwegian multi-instrumentalist Anders Buaas. Buaas has been a touring guitarist for Tim Ripper Owens and Paul Di Anno and has been a much sought after session musician. He released his first album The Witches of Finnmark in 2017, the first of three albums exploring the persecution of witches in 16th/17th century Finnmark. Each album has been reviewed, earning four stars each, demonstrating a consistency that is hard to achieve. This time around the artist delivers another conceptual piece, with each song representing the twenty-two cards in the tarot deck known as the Major Arcana.

Tarot is an absolutely cracker of an album, maybe even my favourite from him thus far. The first two tracks, “The Fool” and “The Magician” have a folk rock bent, with wonderful melodies, addictive acoustic and electric guitar, dramatic orchestrations, and nice use of theremin. “The High Priestess” brings on the heaviness with thick and doomy guitar riffs, backing keyboard layers and some tasty guitar solos. Just an excellent song. “The Empress” features emotionally played electric guitar as does the excellent “The Emperor”, as well as fine bass and keyboards. An arpeggiated guitar begins the smoothly flowing “The Hierophant” with keyboards and theremin adding a high degree of lushness. An enchanting and hypnotizing tune mixing progressive rock and folk.

Really, not much else needs to be said and I completely agree with my esteemed colleague above. Tarot is a wonderful album from an artist whose talent continues to shine. Absolutely recommended.

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