Tiamat - Sumerian Cry
7 May 1990

01. Intro - Sumerian Cry (Part I)
02. In The Shrines Of The Kingly Dead
03. The Malicious Paradise
04. Necrophagous Shadows
05. Apotheosis Of Morbidity
06. Nocturnal Funeral
07. Altar Flame
08. Evilized
09. Where The Serpents Ever Dwell / Outro - Sumerian Cry (Part II)
10. The Sign Of The Pentagram [CD bonus]

Being a fan of Tiamat's later works and 'Sumerian Cry' being the only album I hadn't heard before it was actually a big effort to listen to it. No, it isn't a bad record. But if you know their later albums in their melodically splendour it's quite hard to listen to evil and dark death metal.

I have never had the ability to understand grunting vocals and Johan Edlund (back then known as Hellslaughter) gives his best to make them unintelligible. In a way it's good for not knowing lyrical content enables listener to imagine what are the songs about. And I don't think that these images will be far off the true essence. For the lyrics are about pharaoh's tombs, about the paradise of evil, about sacrificing, about the dead and all that I have never considered as something that could be a source of inspiration. But I respect the choice and musical side has always been more important to me anyway.

Album starts out with a beautiful intro, 'Sumerian Cry Part 1', something I didn't expect at all and yet something that is so familiar on their later albums. But that is about all there is in common for then the listener is carried away into a world of death with 'The Shrines of the Kingly Dead' that tells about the exploration of a pharaohs tomb. A proper music for such a theme I must say, considering the real dangers of such an exploration. This is one of my favorite tracks on this album with it's nice guitar part towards the end.

Then follows 'The Malicious Paradise' which starts out with a 'tinkling' guitar and proceeds to tell about the evil truth in the dark voice of Johan Edlund. Album goes on in the same spirit with occasional guitar solos that though blended into the background bring in a very nice touch of melody sounding best in 'Necrophagious Shadows' and 'Nocturnal Funeral'.

Probably the most interesting track of the album is 'Evilized'. At first it is a good track in a proper mood of death metal until… the listener is caught unawares. In come the keyboards that do sound silly in the context but nevertheless create a moody atmosphere for the following guitars. At some point you can almost see these guys jamming a melody that is far from the songs content. Though some have said that Tiamat spoiled a perfect song I'd say quite the contrary. It is at this point that you can see the inevitable future development of the band towards death influenced gothic metal.

The album is concluded by 'The Sign of the Pentagram' which should be from their second demo which they released in 1989 under the name of Treblinka. The title speaks for itself, so there's not much to add.

All in this album turned out better than I expected and I really didn't expect much. I was going to rate this album low but subsequent listening and thinking has made me change my mind. Though it is still far from their real masterpieces, it was a fairly good record to start out with. Those of you who expect unchanging dark death metal might be disappointed but this record nevertheless shouldn't be missed out, especially because it's Tiamat. In my opinion this album is far better than the average of the genre.

Band profile: Tiamat
Album: Sumerian Cry


Written on 16.01.2004 by
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
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ylside - 15.03.2008 at 19:54  
Evilized is indeed a very special one, and I agree, it's not spoiled by the end at all, it makes it only better.
For the intro it is taken from their Treblinka era.

A moody and muddy death metal album.
Uirapuru - 20.12.2009 at 21:47  
I don't know. I see whats good about this album, but I have with early Tiamat the same problem that I have with early Samael, Therion and Paradise Lost... I simply prefer their recent works better

Althou Astral Sleep already shows a lot bunch of improovment imo.

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