Tiamat - The Astral Sleep review
|Album:||The Astral Sleep|
01. Neo Aeon (Intro)
02. Lady Temptress
03. Mountain Of Doom
04. Dead Boys' Choir
05. Sumerian Cry (Part III)
06. On Golden Wings
07. Ancient Entity
08. The Southernmost Voyage
09. Angels Far Beyond
10. I Am The King (...Of Dreams)
11. A Winter Shadow
12. The Seal (Outro)
A year has passed since the release of Tiamat's debut album 'Sumerian Cry'. This year saw the departure of guitarist Stefan Lagergren and drummer Andreas Holmberg whose places were taken by Thomas Petersson and Niklas Ekstrand respectively. The band, being dissatisfied with the distribution of the first album jumped to the Century Media label. A new label, a new album. A new album, a better album? Certainly! For Tiamat has taken a big step forward by adding a fine melodies to their sound and thus making music more complex.
As guitarist Stefan 'Emetic' Lagergren wrote the greater part of lyrics on 'Sumerian Cry' album, his departure brings forth the rise of Johan Edlund as a great composer and songwriter. Though lyrics still remain dark they are now more focused on dreaming and the astral body of an individual. There are still tracks like 'Dead Boy's Choir' and 'Ancient Entity' that are about the worshipping of Satan but on the other hand tracks like 'Sumerian Cry (Part III)', 'I am the King (of Dreams)' and 'Winter Shadow' tell of dreams and the search of souls for a place and peace.
But let us listen to this album. The album starts out with a beautiful keyboard intro after which a fast and aggressive track 'Lady Temptress' is served to the listener, a track about the tempting desires of a human nature. Up next comes 'Mountain of Doom', a track that is one of the best on the album. Along with heavy guitar riffs and a fine bass tune Tiamat brings in an acoustic guitar that adds much sensitivity to the song that tells about the search for the peace of the mind and finding of death. Towards the end of the track there is an amazing fast guitar solo that I enjoy every time I hear it. And vocals! Edlund has loosened up his voice and he delivers a pleasant combination of growling and singing.
Acoustic guitar is also used on a 'Dead Boy's Choir', a quiet but an emotional track. Following 'Sumerian Cry (Part III)' tells about a soul that in a dream visits an ancient Sumerian temple. It is quite a fast and furious track with an interesting guitar solos but I think the lyrics attract me the most.
'On Golden Wings' and 'Ancient Entity' - both have interesting parts in them and are worth listening to though I usually don't notice them when playing the album. 'The Southernmost Voyage' is the most quiet track on the album. There you can hear Johan Edlund speaking in a half-whispering voice instead of singing and growling. Now that I think about it this track seems to have an interesting yet simple point in a way uniting the idea of the whole album.
Taking musical structure into account the best song is 'Angels Far Beyond'. Its varying rhythm and melodic guitars with occasional solos make it an enjoyable piece. Here Edlund exposes his talent as a fine composer. The following 'I am the King (of Dreams)' is quite boring musically but lyrically it is a big one. 'A Winter Shadow' is another good track before the album is closed by an instrumental track 'The Seal (Outro)' that brings album almost to the point from which it started.
All in all this album is a very fine representative of melodic death metal. Having made a big step Tiamat has progressed musically very much. Instead of monotonous songs they now have many tracks that sound original, tracks that vary in rhythm and melody, vocals and lyrics and thus make an album interesting. I was fascinated from the first time I listened to it. But why 9? Just a tiny little something was missing there that I can't really name. Yet, a very fine listening this album is.
Written on 27.01.2004 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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