Tad Morose
Revenant


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
January 8th, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 11/20/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All I see is darkness…

A careful look at the back catalogue of the power/progressive (early), power/thrash (later) metal outfit Tad Morose from Bollnäs, Sweden, will reveal an interesting pattern. The activity of the band is divided into two distinct periods sharing a common attribute, the notable improvement with each subsequent full-length release per period. During the ‘90s, the band became known within the power/progressive metal circuit with the release of three albums. The third one, 1997’s A Mended Rhyme saw the band shifting from the keyboard driven melody of the two previous albums (especially Sender of Thoughts) to a much more engaging balance between the said sound and a more upbeat, aggressive take on power metal.

Unfortunately, a 5-year period of silence followed the release of Mended Rhyme and halted the further refinement of that album in future endeavors, as it was difficult for the band to ink a new record deal. Most fortunately however, Century Media Records decided to sign the band in 1998 and with a second guitar replacing the keyboards, Tad Morose became a straight-up power metal outfit. During the period 2001-2003, the band recorded three albums, whose merit ranked between “great” and “monumental”. Modus Vivendi (2003) in particular, lies among the best power/thrash metal albums ever recorded, but some times a near-perfect album can be a blessing as much as it can become a curse. Urban Breed decided to leave the band in 2006, and scheduled recording sessions for a new album were suspended. After several line-up changes and with real life issues constantly getting in the way, Tad Morose joined forces with newly founded Swedish label Despotz Records and a new album entitled Revenant was released, an album signifying the start of a prosperous era for the band.

As expected, the new Tad Morose album extends the band’s power/thrash metal storytelling, right from where Modus Vivendi had concluded. The first strategic move in the said respect on behalf of the band, is no other than the recruitment of vocalist Ronny Hemlin, a musician known to Tad Morose from the second album of Inmoria (a band which features ex and current Tad Morose members). Hemlin is in charge of a powerful, clean voice with an impeccable vibrato, in the vein of Tim “Ripper” Owens. The said attributes are ideal for the narration of the album’s ominous lyrical content and the adaptation to the devastating choruses of songs such as “Beneath a Veil of Crying Souls” and “Within a Dream”. The rest of the band does not fall short either. The trademark “Bollnäs power/thrash metal” sound is (more than) convincingly reproduced, although it feels darker than in before (check the “goth” keyboards in the album’s rear). Moreover, Tad Morose have included elements from Swedish power/doom metal and outfits such as Memory Garden (for example in the song “Ares”), whereas they appear to dig Painkiller-era Judas Priest all too much (for instance, check “Death Embrace”), as the shell of several songs is decorated accordingly.

Despite the album’s great merit, certain pitfalls seem to have not been avoided. First of all, the sound production, although it’s clean and powerful in principle, it fails to conceal its digital origin, and ends up detracting power, primarily from the rhythm section and (at a much lesser but perceivable extent) the rhythm guitars. Whereas the album would be much better off with 8 or 9 songs, several numbers from the existing track list, could use a more careful proofreading in more respects than one. For example, the Painkiller-era Judas Priest elements (especially the mid-tempo, double bass “power metal” segments) are used carelessly and greedily, while then main lead guitar melodies per song are adequate, but rather passable overall. Moreover, the rhythm section patterns are going through their motions from a point further, especially in the Judas Priest song segments.

With Revenant, Tad Morose have started climbing again that very mountain, whose summit they had conquered with Modus Vivendi. Despite the long period of inactivity and the adverse line-up fluctuations, it seems that the band’s ascension process has started from a much better current status than the corresponding one during the dusk of the ‘90s. As the band has implied in interviews about Revenant, the aforementioned shortcomings have come as a result of the long period of hiatus and the sudden urgency to conclude work for it, while coping with various deadlines. Looking at their current state of play, the only way for Tad Morose is to raise the stakes and go up. They can do it, they’ve been here before.



Recent reviews by this author
Sanctuary The Year the Sun DiedVoivod Voivod
Essence Beyond CarnivalismElectric Citizen Sateen
Vicious Rumors Live You to Death 2 - American PunishmentMayhem Esoteric Warfare
user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album stream - http://www.decibelmagazine.com/featured/streaming-tad-morose-revenant/




Constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Seduced (AT) - The Proclamation

Athom
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2014


17224 Comments


That first sentence in the 3rd paragraph reads a bit awkwardly. Lovely review though. I had no idea Tad Morose were still even a band. I used to listen to them a bit when I was in high school.

KriegdemKriege
January 9th 2014


1307 Comments


Yeah, the start of the third paragraph is written awkwardly. It should be "The new album strives to perpetuate...."

I liked the review.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Thanks for the feedback guys, I edited the sentence a bit, hope it reads better now.

The band was active during the past ten years, but it had trouble establishing a steady line-up, in order to record new material. Furthermore, it seems that when the Swedes got a deal with their current label, they rushed things a bit, so they could finish the album in time.


Some recent band interviews can be found here:

http://www.metaltalk.net/columns/20106349.php
http://www.metalstorm.net/pub/interview.php?interview_id=698

manosg
January 9th 2014


6301 Comments


Are these guys still around? I'm afraid I haven't listened to anything by them, where does one start?

Digging: Woody Guthrie - Dust Bowl Ballads

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 9th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, they're back, this time for good I hope.

Start with the new album, then go to Modus Vivendi and then check Matters of the Dark and Undead.

Then check A Mended Rhyme which is a mixed bag containing the melodic progressive metal of the first two albums and the albums that came between 2001 and 2003.

The first two albums are revolving around melodic/melancholic progressive metal. However, they may feel as less engaging with respect to the albums that followed.

manosg
January 9th 2014


6301 Comments


Thanks man, will do!

manosg
January 9th 2014


6301 Comments


Oh and once we're on the subject, I'd recommend to anyone who likes good power metal from the 80s an album called Fifth Angel by a band with the same name.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2014


1900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I think I'll have to look further into this band's discography, from what you said in the review Voivod they appear to me to have been quite a prominent band in the Power Metal genre. I liked this album for what it was, just didn't quite hear the progressive elements, if there were any.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 10th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, there's no progressive metal in Revenant. As for power metal, the two previous albums, Matters of the Dark and especially Modus Vivendi, are highly recommended.

KjSwantko
January 10th 2014


9444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy fuck I didn't know Tad had a new album. Jamming now. Sup Voi

KjSwantko
January 11th 2014


9444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's albums like this that make me realize how important production can be. Lots of sweet riffs, but the flat drums and minimal atmosphere really hinder it. Millennium Lie would've been a destroyer if it had deep powerful drums backing it.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^^Agreed about the drum sound, because the record has a dark atmosphere due to the sharp riffing and the goth keyboards heard in the rear.

Plus it must be said that the album is a grower. At first, the cons of the album were more prevalent than the pros, but if someone digs power/thrash metal, after repeated listens, the pros tend to prevail.

KjSwantko
January 13th 2014


9444 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can see how that would be true; even after 1 listening there was a bunch of memorable riffs and choruses. If this sounded like Modus it would be a 4.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^^Agreed

GenZod
January 17th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I agree with you on their back catalog; it's sensational. The new album is just paint-by-numbers Power Metal.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2014


6220 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

^^I can see where you come from, but I would suggest that you should listen to the album some more, because, as I wrote in an earlier comment, it is a grower. During the first few listening sessions, I thought it was bland too.

On another note and while there's certainly nothing new under the sun here, the sound of this band and of the bands I cited in the "recommended" section, is nowhere near saturation so as to say "I've really had enough of this". There are not many bands playing like this - all of them come from Sweden - plus they sound much heavier with respect to Central European power metal, while they incorporate stuff from doom metal way too often.

This sound mixing does not take place in such density in other power metal scenes.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy