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Tarot - Crows Fly Black (9/10) - Finland - 2007

Genre: Melodic Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Playing time: 52:00
Band homepage: Tarot


  1. Crows Fly Black
  2. Traitor
  3. Ashes To The Stars
  4. Messenger Of Gods
  5. Before The Skies Come Down
  6. Tides
  7. Bleeding Dust
  8. You
  9. Howl
  10. Grey
  11. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars
Tarot - Crows Fly Black

TAROT is not just Marco Hietala’s (NIGHTWISH’s male vocalist) other band, but this group already has been in existence since the middle of the 80s and they’ve already released eight albums. In their Finnish home they’re considered to be Metal heroes and they are very common for each Rock fan, but here in Germany they’re considered as an insider’s tip. This should change with this killer album. Here everything is done in a proper way, from the noble appearance to the killer production and to the great material, which blows away 90% of the remaining releases.


Even two lead vocalists provide diversity, as Marco Hietala is accompanied by Tommi “Tuple” Salmela, who’s usually in charge of the background vocals. They offer us musically a mixture between firm Hard Rock and melodic Power Metal with a tight, modern De-Luxe-Sound, who gives a modern touch to this old-fashioned stylistic orientation. The song material is pretty catchy and it goes without any frippery; the hook-leaning tracks are getting rather fast to the point. With “You” they can already exhibit a #1 Track, although just at the Finnish hit parade. But that’s not the only killer track, which is supposed to be #1. In principle, every single song would be capable to be a potential single release.


Just listen to the awesome, garnished with an original ACCEPT riff “Before The Skies Come Down” with its chorus that sank its teeth like a parasite into your flesh or the touching half-ballad “Tides”, for giving you just two examples. These are great tracks which leave nothing to be desired. Anyway, it’s mind-boggling how both lead vocalists are harmonizing. The absolute surprising killer track is although a cover version of BLUE ÖYSTER CULT’s stunner “Veteran Of The Psychic Wars”. This version kicks ass and it blows me completely away. Finally someone had the great idea to cover this godlike song in an appropriate way and so they’re giving a chance to younger listeners to hear the greatest Hard Rock classic ever, which they would have never reached otherwise. Maybe their ninth album provides them to gain access to the market in Germany. They would have deserved it!

(Online February 26, 2007)

Ralf Henn

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