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Tiamat
Amanathes

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Raising Iron
Genre: Gothic

  • Pure dysphoric genius



  • For those who yearn for the days of "Wildhoney", and were semi-sated with their last release, "Prey", your wait is over. Tiamat's latest, "Amanathes", is pure dysphoric genius. Tiamat's vocalist and founding member, Johan Edlund, has taken his penchant for down-hearted, dispirited gloom to even higher, sublime, and ethereal planes with this latest work. His gritty baritone augments the atmosphere so perfectly here it's genuinely frightening. Songs here are so moribund and morose, they're sure to send chills up and down the cloaked spines of even the most black-hearted and hardened goth fans.

    This terror strikes out with the perfect opener, "The Temple of the Crescent Moon", which is probably the heaviest and fastest track to be found, recalling mid-era Paradise Lost. A fairly brisk, upbeat track (*gasp*, lyrically speaking as well!?!) that belies the rest of the album. There are a handful of thoroughly heavy gothic metal tunes to be enjoyed, but a full half of this album resides in balladic territory, where the ebon depression truly shines. Melody after melody after melody reach into your heart and tear out any shred of hope or optimism you may be experiencing. "Meliae" is one of the most beautiful examples of despair ever laid to disc, and warrants a press of the repeat button on your player. The keyboard melody, along with the lyrical one, is so perfectly processed and pronounced, and the female backing vocals (found elsewhere as well) add haunting texture to the refrain. The guitar solo on the outro is sensationally spectral. And the affair is found throughout the entire album - exotic, haunting, eldritch, and eerie passages casting one down into the deepest valleys of the forlorn.

    The production is top-notch and spacious, allowing the various strains to fill all corners of the recording, sucking the listener into the vortex of painful despair where Tiamat have laid their cornerstone. Hard to believe this clocks in at about 67 minutes (including the stellar US bonus track), for there's no filler, no wasted electronic excursions into experimental realms of noise, just depressing song after depressing song. This truly has to be Tiamat's greatest moment in their career, as they've never been more focused in their attempt to create great songs that cut to the core of despondency.

    Hence, if you've been too happy lately listening to your Nightwish, Freedom Call, Edguy or Dragonforce, then stop by Tiamat's throne and temper that enthusiasm with a drink from their bleak chalice. Or, if you dwell in these bitter halls as is your wont, do not hesitate to inject this virulent serum into your veins. Finally, if you think Type O Negative or HIM are the definition of dark, gothic rock/metal--wake up! "Amanathes" will take you to places far more dour, disconsolate, and desperate than imagined.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TIAMAT
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    AmanathesTiamat
    2008
    Raising Iron9/8/2008
    Judas ChristTiamat
    2002
    Nate Turpin2/27/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: TIAMAT

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