Yeeeeeessss!!!!! A new TAD MOROSE!!! Two years after their masterpiece "Undead" they are back with "Matters Of The Dark" and I've been so very anxious about if they could hold their typical damn high standard - and just like with "Undead" it doesn't ignite at first listen, but when it does, it'd truly erupts!
Style-wise they at the same time have not changed, but still sound different, yet in a kind of quiet evolution, which unites all trade-marks of the band, yet still being far from copying themselves. This is the way it should be and honestly, if TAD MOROSE had really changed their sound, I'd have been a little disappointed!
"Sword Of Retribution" kicks off the album in the trusted TAD MOROSE-manner, powerful, mid-paced, in the guitars with an almost doomy atmosphere, just to get faster in the middle section towards the solo, with measured keyboards and what I had waited for, of course - Urban Breed... The voice of this guy is barely to be put into words, damn powerful, really original, not so high, just great! Sorry, together with Khan he is my favourite singer, even before Kiske or Dickinson!
And on it goes, driven by fat double-bass and an illustrious guest-vocalist: Charles "Chulle" Rytkönen of none other than LEFAY! With a great, choir-borne chorus we get a song that is among the fastest in the repertoire of the MAD TOROS, crunchy guitars, very good vocal collaboration, Charles with his absolutely unique road, great, great, great! The doomy atmosphere, a trademark of TAD MOROSE ever since their debut "Leaving The Past Behind" (special thanks go out to "Rock Hard"-magazine, where I won this CD and which made me a Taddy-Bear!), again can be found on "Ethereal Soul", which's irresistible chorus makes this song an unforgettable memory.
A tad faster is "I Know Your Name", straight mid-tempo with heavy guitars and another strong vocal performance by Urban, who once more ennobles every song on this CD with his great voice! Just like the rather measured (but not balladesque!) "In The Shadows", rather more commercial, very catchy, but still good! But after that the gentlemen Breed (Long live Breedianism), Andersson (Hej, Krunt!), Olsson, Modd (still driving BMW?) und Morén (the Morén-effect - "beer? Glllll....") let the hammer swing again, because "Another Way" is speeding through the botany, most probably the fastest TAD MOROSE-track ever, again very catchy, with very good vocal-arrangement and choir!
"New Clear Skies" again is more "commercial" (as if you could make money with this style, but that's just too often the case with great music!), with an irresistible chorus, just like "Riding The Beast", which is rather held in the doomy Mid-Tempo-Metal in the TAD MOROSE-vein, followed by "Reason Of The Ghost", which is pretty slow-paced and somehow won't really ignite, the choir in the chorus also sounds a bit strange and pressed, not a bad song, but not of the same calibre as the rest...
"The Devil's Finger" again is a TAD MOROSE-cracker of the old vein, melodic, a bit doomy, powerful, strong vocals, takes a little bit longer until it really unfolds, but then proves his whole class! And the closing "Don't Pray For Me" also is rather sluggish, but very power- and forceful, a good closer for an album of this calibre!
If you haven't fallen asleep yet, I guess that I rather come to an end, not that somebody crashes into the keyboard with his head and I get sued for compensation...
All in all "Matters Of The Dark" cannot fully read "Undead", but still, I have been and still am an avowed Taddy-Bear and the by now fifth complete album of the Bollnäs-quintet is again a brilliant piece of absolutely cliché-free Power Metal, which any quality-conscious fan of Metal should have! So, my friends, I hope to see you at the end of May in the Metal-capital of Sweden - no, not Göteborg, but Bollnäs! BOLLNÄS METAL RULEZ!!