Review: Tiamat – Amanethes

Monday, 27 July, 2009

tiamat-amanethes“It’s been a long time but we are here again”. This is how “Amanethes” starts and I’m not talking about a white rapper introducing him for the third time. I’m talking about the latest Tiamat album from 2008, which hasn’t come to my attention before a week ago.

It starts out more black/ death since early recordings in the 90ies. But it also have lots of symphonic elements that sound more like other Century Media bands than the unique sound that I will remember Tiamat always gave the goth rock scene. (Note: Tiamat released this record at Nuclear Blast.)

Amanethes is a disappointing record. It sounds like a patriarch that lost its power, now old but still howling. This could be charming, but it’s convulsive. The record has its moments, but all in all its fragmented and missing the killer riffs and / or atmospheric passages from earlier albums.

Although I’m far from impressed, I think “Katarraktis Apo Aima” has a savage rage and Johan Edlund succeeds on the two minute short track to show how vehement and lost he is. And on the other side the a more sad and slow track “Misantropolis ” also provides me with lots of real authenticity . As if Tiamat is in no use of forcing the feelings and melodies forward. Here they are, unpretentious and straight forward. And the greek guitars and drums in the end gives some of the originality which I’m missing on the record in general.

For some reason Johan Edlund continues to sing with a dark voice. To me this makes me think of the Sundown record, where former Tiamat bassist Johnny Hagel contributed. Johan Edlund explains why he sings with the low voice in an interview from 2008:

“It comes very natural for me. I do not have to struggle to sing that kind of songs. That is my natural voice. I struggle a bit more when I have to sing high or to scream, then I need a lot of energy. But the more low vocals I can do anytime.” – quote in Lords of Metal

Well. Sounds kind of boring to me not pushing yourself to the limits. You’ll find a more positive review at Metal Storm.

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