Tad Morose - Modus Vivendi 2003 Century Media - reviewed by: EC
Track Listing1.Anubis 2.No mercy 3.Afraid to die 4.Clearly insane 5.Cyberdome 6.Take on the world 7.Mother shipton's words 8.Unwelcome guest 9.Life in a lonely grave 10.When the spirit tules the world
Tad Morose have been keeping the power metal flame lit in Sweden for years now, orgininally starting out as a progressive outfit before switching gears with their third record, "A Mended Rhyme". This record was the first with vocalist Urban Breed and showcased a side of Tad Morose that we hadn't heard. With "A Mended Rhyme", the group lost alot of the keyboard sound that had made them famous with Black Mark Records. With the following album, "Undead", Breed and the boys set fire to their past and moved into a much more metalized campaign for their new label Century Media. With "Undead", Tad Morose left their progressive roots behind, capturing the sounds of early Dio, "The Warning" era Queensryche, and the gothic thrashing of fellow Swedes Morgana Lefay. In 2002, Tad Morose created their best album to date, "Matters Of The Dark". This record really seamed together, with Breed's charismatic vocal style and the band polishing off a fury-filled rush of classic metal stylings.
Now, the group returns again with new album "Modus Vivendi". Fans of "Matters Of The Dark" and "Undead" will go crazy here, with the band delivering a mature and well balanced follow-up to "Matters.." Tad Morose are just a magical band, not sounding like anyone out there right now, playing their own brand of traditional heaviness, concentrating on the past but moving it into our modern mainframe. Urban Breed is one of the best vocalists ever in my opionion, very under-rated and simply ignored by the metal community, Breed continues to belt out album after album of perfectly crafted metalwork.
"Modus Vivendi" really captures all of what has become trademark Tad Morose elements. There is no rock left unturned here as the group trounces through ten tracks of epic gothic power, adding even more modern elements but refusing to abandon their signature sound. Tracks like "No Mercy" and "Afraid To Die" are exactly what you would expect here, raging somewhere between "Matters..." and "Undead" material with a good shot of doom injected in all the right places. Album opener "Anubis" bursts out with a highly charged downtuned groove that brings to mind bands like Nevermore and even Angel Dust, with plenty of Arabic scaling that the group does so well. Fast paced "Clearly Insane" burns red hot, with fast double bass and layered twin guitar harmony.
"Cyberdome" has Urban Breed sounding just like Jeff Martin of Racer-X crossed with metal god Rob Rock. Urban Breed is just that good. He can add a certain mood to any paced song, with the thrashers sounding angry and aggressive without his vocals becoming abbrassive, while at the same time he can slow things down to a crawl but add enough emotion to keep the listener well tuned. "Mother Shipton's Words" moves at roller coaster speed, possibly the band's fastest song to date with the chorus slowing things down a notch to keep the ever important melodic passanger still intact. Every track here stands out, with each being a unique, well crafted score sure to please every metal fan out there.
Tad Morose continue to make great albums, epic albums of sincere, heartfelt metallic beauty. If you loved "Undead" or "Matters Of The Dark", then this is a must have. Is it as good as those albums? That is a tough question. I believe that all three albums can stand on their own. These guys just have a musical talent and gift that thankfully they have discovered early enough in their career that they can expand upon and "season" through time and effort. Few bands have that luxury, but hopefully if their sales continue they will be given every opportunity.
I have a good feeling that this album will rank in my top 5 of 2004. The album will be released in the states on February 9th, 2004 through Century Media, while the European market enjoys it two months earlier courtesy of SPV.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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