Rating:
9.3
Tarot - Spell Of Iron
1986


01. Midwinter Nights
02. Dancing On The Wire
03. Back In The Fire
04. Love's Not Made For My Kind
05. Never Forever
06. Spell Of Iron
07. De Mortui Nil Nisi Bene
08. Pharao
09. Wings Of Darkness
10. Things That Crawl At Night
11. Love's Not Made For My Kind [1995 version] [2006 Re-release bonus]
12. Back In The Fire [live] [2006 Re-release bonus]
13. Love's Not Made For My Kind [live] [2006 Re-release bonus]
14. Back In The Fire [single version] [2006 Re-release bonus]
15. I Don't Care Anymore [demo] [2006 Re-release bonus]
16. Lady Deceiver [demo] [2006 Re-release bonus]
17. Blood Runs Cold [demo] [2006 Re-release bonus]


There is often an unfair stereotype regarding power metal that it all has to be either cheesy garbage or sugary, dainty hobbit music; and that is just not the case. There are no magic ponies or enchanted faeries here; just songs about Viking warriors on the conquest, killer mummies out for revenge, and beings born of fire hell-bent on annihilation. Often overlooked, Finnish power metal band Tarot shows us with their debut album Spell Of Iron that sometimes it's in your best interest to look past genres and give an album a chance.

The first thing that caught my attention on this album were the incredible riffs played by Zachary Hietala and Mako H: they're melodic but still give the album a hard edge and also, being insanely catchy, make the songs that much more memorable. The solos aren't mindblowing, but they fit into the songs well and aren't over done. Frontman/Bassist/Song Writer Marco Hietala, who also sings and composes for a little band called [band]Nightwish[band], does an excellent job on all tracks. Marco has cited that Ronnie James Dio was his biggest influence as a vocalist and it shows. You can tell this guy was listening to Holy Diver a lot either during or before making this album, this is a good thing in my case because Dio is my favorite singer of all time. The song writing is really spectacular, Marco truly knows how to compose and bring out that epic feeling you get from listening to power metal without having a synthetic, overly cheesy quality that many bands of this genre are succumbing to. The first time I heard the song "Never Forever" I thought they stole one of the riffs from the Iron Maiden song "The Evil That Men Do." However, Spell Of Iron came out 2 years prior to the album Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. Make of it what you will, but if indeed Maiden did bite this riff off of Marco Hietala that just further proves Marco's talent. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery after all.

Spell Of Iron is one of my favorite power metal albums of all time. A great album for anyone looking for a power metal band that isn't "Flower Power."

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 8


Band profile: Tarot
Album: Spell Of Iron


 


written by Death To Posers | 16.03.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Milena - 19.03.2011 at 14:14  
They're more heavy metal in my book
Întunecatul - 20.03.2011 at 21:12  
Awesome album...congrats for the review
Death To Posers - 21.03.2011 at 09:56  
Written by Milena on 19.03.2011 at 14:14

They're more heavy metal in my book


Yeah, kind of a mix of heavy and power.
Death To Posers - 21.03.2011 at 09:57  
Written by Întunecatul on 20.03.2011 at 21:12

Awesome album...congrats for the review


Thanks
Mountain King - 01.05.2011 at 13:33  
This band is pure 80's Heavy Metal which i like a lot. But they don't fit in any way to the Power Metal genre which i also like a lot and i think it is the best genre that emerged after the 80's...
Death To Posers - 01.05.2011 at 19:04  
Written by Mountain King on 01.05.2011 at 13:33

This band is pure 80's Heavy Metal which i like a lot. But they don't fit in any way to the Power Metal genre which i also like a lot and i think it is the best genre that emerged after the 80's...


Well according to this site, they're labeled as "Dark Power Metal". Some people consider bands like Dio and Iron Maiden to be Power Metal. I definitely think they have power metal elements, personally would say Power/Heavy. But, I try not to get too bogged down in labels.
Mountain King - 01.05.2011 at 19:07  
Written by Death To Posers on 01.05.2011 at 19:04

Written by Mountain King on 01.05.2011 at 13:33

This band is pure 80's Heavy Metal which i like a lot. But they don't fit in any way to the Power Metal genre which i also like a lot and i think it is the best genre that emerged after the 80's...


Well according to this site, they're labeled as "Dark Power Metal". Some people consider bands like Dio and Iron Maiden to be Power Metal. I definitely think they have power metal elements, personally would say Power/Heavy. But, I try not to get too bogged down in labels.


I hate labels as well. I just meant they are more like Judas Priest, Dio, Dokken etc, and not really close to Helloween, Gamma Ray & Stratovarius...
Death To Posers - 01.05.2011 at 19:14  
Written by Mountain King on 01.05.2011 at 19:07

Written by Death To Posers on 01.05.2011 at 19:04

Written by Mountain King on 01.05.2011 at 13:33

This band is pure 80's Heavy Metal which i like a lot. But they don't fit in any way to the Power Metal genre which i also like a lot and i think it is the best genre that emerged after the 80's...


Well according to this site, they're labeled as "Dark Power Metal". Some people consider bands like Dio and Iron Maiden to be Power Metal. I definitely think they have power metal elements, personally would say Power/Heavy. But, I try not to get too bogged down in labels.


I hate labels as well. I just meant they are more like Judas Priest, Dio, Dokken etc, and not really close to Helloween, Gamma Ray & Stratovarius...


Yeah, I could agree with that.

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