Tiamat - Amanethes review
|Release date:||April 2008|
01. The Temple Of The Crescent Moon
02. Equinox Of The Gods
03. Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again
04. Will They Come?
06. Summertime Is Gone
07. Katarraktis Apo Aima
08. Raining Dead Angels
12. Via Dolorosa
15. Thirst Snake [digipack bonus]
"It's been a long time but we are back again..." A quote from an opening track "The Temple of the Crescent Moon" of the new Tiamat album "Amanethes" says in short what needs saying. After five years Tiamat have returned with an album full of new material. Predictable is not a word to be used to describe this band and their music. Although, unpredictable ain't the right one either. However, with Tiamat a few surprises may easily be in store for a listener. There were for me at least.
As much as I like most of Tiamat albums I was rather put off by the opening of the album. "The Temple of the Crescent Moon" and "Equinox of the Gods" are, in my opinion, somewhat uncharacteristic of the band. Being quite fast, rich with pounding drums and Johan trying to revert back to rasping vocals of the early albums but making it sound different – that's a combination that on the first listen made my face sag. Although, the guitars, keyboard atmosphere and the songs on the whole have Tiamat written all over them, it was not the Tiamat I was expecting.
However, from there on it went uphill and along the paths my mind was prepared to handle. The following songs not only serve the listener with excellent deep voice of Johan Edlund in the vein of the ultimate best of Gothic Metal but also great composition. Furthermore, a real surprise came with "Will They Come?" Something rang in me deeply, something familiar to the bones. It didn't take me too long to figure out that the beginning of the song had all the components – the structure, the atmosphere, and the feeling – that made "Aégis" by Theatre of Tragedy an outstanding album. Different voice, different musicians, different song but there's something there that gets you right inside.
What makes "Amanethes" an enjoyable album is the pleasant variation of the songs. It makes the album seem fresh, not fresh as in new but fresh as in blooming green. True, I didn't like the first songs on the first listen but I've found out that on the whole they do fit and are good. Let's say it was more a matter of prejudice and a slight shock. So, as I said, the variation is the key here. While album ranges from slumbering atmosphere that's been describing Tiamat since "Wildhoney" to the more aggressive side that I don't recall in such context, it's quite a tight bundle. Furthermore, I find that the band have made far better and creative use of their instruments than they've done for quite some time. It's been a while since they really played the songs out to the fullest.
To wrap it up, I have to say that "Amanethes" shows life flowing in the band. In a way, release of this album is perfect for Spring. It has that feeling of new life to it. On the other hand, with exceptions of a couple of tracks, it could as well be the high Summer and a yellow sunset by the sea, especially if you listen to "Meliae." Or it could be "Raining Dead Angels" if you prefer something gloomy and stormy. Whichever view you like, the fact remains that this album can capture it's listener when really listened to. This album here is a first step in a bit different direction and is probably not yet as fine tuned as it could be. However, Tiamat's past has shown such changeover albums to be lasting in time. Time will show if this one will last as well.
Written on 03.05.2008 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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