Tiamat – The Scarred People

Fans lacking an affinity for gothic music abandoned Tiamat long ago, but those willing to take their metal with a heavy dose of Sisters Of Mercy still love them. The Scarred People sees Tiamat continuing stylistically down the path laid down since 1997, albeit with further refinement in both the production and vocal arenas. With every ensuing album, Johan Edlund’s enunciation of sung English becomes stronger and stronger, giving his lyrics heft and clarity of diction. The female-backing vocals present on 2008’s Amathenes won’t be found so often or high in the mix on this album, and this is fine, as Edlund no longer needs the crutch. A very professional confidence and crisp production accompanies each delivered line, paving the way for those latter-day Tiamat hooks that show up on the memorable title-track and ‘Love Terrorists’.

For the majority of the album, Tiamat’s guitar solos channel David Gilmour as they have before, but the layering of the other instruments give them their own hue. Then we have ‘Messinian Letter’, and the ‘Floyd worship gets out of hand. A sappy arrangement, more at home on an Adult Contemporary station, fails to develop its own voice at all, and the painful line “you are my only friend” nails the coffin on this throwaway track. Fortunately, the upbeat ‘Thunder & Lightning’ immediately following helps to wash it down, with a pleasing, driving main riff and tasteful, ripping rock-style lead guitar that will have the gloomiest mascara-wearer pushing the pedal to the floor of his or her unwashed vehicle.

If you don’t like A Deeper Kind of Slumber-onward Tiamat, this album will not bring you back into the fold, nor will it speak to you at all. But if you are intrigued by the continuing musical journey taken by Edlund and co., know that The Scarred People fits securely within their canon, and will be at home in your collection. -Jim

Napalm Records

~ by cliftonium on October 30, 2012.

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