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Tiamat - Amanethes (7/10) - Sweden - 2008

Genre: Gothic Rock / Gothic Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Playing time: 62:11
Band homepage: Tiamat

Tracklist:

  1. The Temple Of The Crescent Moon
  2. Equinox Of The Gods
  3. Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again
  4. Will They Come?
  5. Lucienne
  6. Summertime Is Gone
  7. Katarraktis Apo Aima
  8. Raining Dead Angels
  9. Misantropolis
  10. Amanitis 
  11. Meliae
  12. Via Dolorosa
  13. Circles
  14. Amanes
  15. Thirst Snake (Digipak Bonus Track)
Tiamat - Amanethes

For many years TIAMAT have been a band that consequently refused to do what people thought they would or wanted them to, so it came as a bit of a surprise when rumours started to float around that the new album “Amanethes” would go back into the direction of “Clouds”, causing many of their older fans to carefully perk up their ears, hoping for a return of the heavier atmospheres that had made said album such a milestone not only in the band’s career.

 

5 years after the release of their previous effort “Prey”, Johan Edlund and following are back and I have to agree that partially that direction indeed is there, but if you start to rejoice about a potential full fledged return, well, maybe you should lay off celebrating at least for now. While I personally couldn’t connect with the psychedelic influenced wanderings of a “A Deeper Kind Of Slumber”, I did find a liking in the Gothic Rock stylings of the last two efforts “Judas Christ” and “Prey”, and I already knew from my years of experience with the Swedes that even if rumours start to float, wait until you actually hear the album, because you just never know...

 

“The Temple Of The Crescent Moon” starts out dark and rocking, with the Gothic undertones we’ve grown accustomed to, maybe a little heavier in the drumming and the vocals taking on a slightly rougher hue, but overall not a complete veering from the style of the past two albums, very catchy, though, nice dynamics, a good start to suck me in. But then the surprise – “Equinox Of The Gods”, this is quite a bit heavier and faster, musically at times almost bordering on Melodic Death Metal, with the vocals keeping Johan’s newer style (if a little more pressed), it wouldn’t be TIAMAT, though, if there also was a super quiet and atmospheric passage, but still, didn’t see that one coming for sure!

 

I usually try to refrain from mentioning too many of the single songs of an album, but if they are so diverse in their approach as on “Amenethes”, it is hard not to... “Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again” falls into the Gothic Doom Metal category and after that “Lucienne” shows a few light TYPE O NEGATIVE-isms, but Johan’s voice still ensures that it remains a TIAMAT track and it actually has grown into one of my favourites of the album. Often TIAMAT remind me of a box of chocolates, with some excellent choices and then some pieces, where I have no idea why they are in the box and “Amanethes” is no difference, both in terms of variety and the mentioned songs that don’t fit for me...

 

There is the bulkiness of “Raining Dead Angels”, which is just a little...odd, then “Misantropolis”, which is very quiet and moody, atmospheric like acoustic “Amanitis” right after, “Meliae”, some sort of very hippie-like PINK FLOYD worship that is one of the tracks that don’t work with me, just like at the very end “Amanes” where the somewhat whiny vocals make a lot of the viscous atmosphere crumble, while “Via Dolorosa” is another one of the a bit heavier songs on the album.

 

Is this box of chocolates tasty? Oh yes, if you are not still hung up with “Clouds”-era TIAMAT (which I have overall probably given up on hearing again), you will find quite a few delicious pralines in here, unfortunately there also are some that are a bit stale and some that you don’t even want to touch, another solid effort, but one that only rarely truly enthuses...

(Online November 4, 2008)

Alexander Melzer



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