Tad Morose - Matters Of The Dark

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Century Media
Catalog Number: 8094-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:38:00

Though Tad Morose's Matters Of The Dark was released last year, with the band now entering the studio to record their follow up and just announced for the Sendrups stage at Sweden Rock 2003, it was time this CD stopped languishing on the "to review" pile and got some spins (though that actually started before the SR announcement). I had liked the MP3 of "New Clear Skies," an evil, chugging slab of power metal that will bend you to their will before capturing you with the soaring Queenryche like chorus. But I'm not quite sure why it's taken me this long to listen to the whole CD. Nevertheless, it's been cued up over the last week.

Tad Morose aren't really morose? well, maybe a tad. Yeh, you could see that coming. What you will find is a band that sounds more than a tad like Jag Panzer and Blind Guardian ("Matters Of The Dark"), a tad like Queensryche at times (as mentioned more in style than Breed sounding like Tate? well, maybe a tad like Tate), a small tad like Dream Theater, and a tad like Iron Maiden at times. Add those tads up and you get? well, not only do you get Tad Morose, but you get thundering heavy metal with a sometimes progressive bent. Their sound is so flexible that fans of all types of metal ? except maybe black metal ? will find something to like in Tad Morose.

The band have been at it for 10 years now, though various members have come and gone; vocalist Urban Breed joined with A Mended Rhyme (1997). Matters Of The Dark is their 6th album, so you can well expect that they've got everything down. The band are a tight unit and Breed's voice easily glides between sweet soaring heights and grizzled, roughened lows. Like many power metal bands, Tad Morose have a duel guitar attack, here it's founding member Christer "Krunt" Andersson and Daniel Olsson (who joined in 1998) ? terrific stuff throughout from both, without needlessly showy solos. The throbbing pulse is provided by Anders Modd on bass and the pounding percussion comes courtesy of Peter Mor?n on drums (both who joined in 1994).

It's hard to focus in on any one song, as there are things about all of them that I like. Most of the album's tracks could be described as darkly heavy, like "I Know Your Name," "In The Shadows," "The Devil's Finger" (which is also darkly melodic) and the title track; "Ethereal Soul" is more melodic. "Riding The Beast," especially during the chorus, is where you will think of Iron Maiden a tad. "Don't Pray For Me" mixes in a bit of early Metallica (that is, 1991 and earlier), especially in their stuttering crunch, though stylistically Breed's delivery made me think of? Ratt. But those soaring choruses I associate with 'Ryche don't let that thought linger too much.

"Another Way" is brutal, a pummeling attack from Modd and Mor?n that'll make your head pound right in time with your quickening heart. And despite what that might imply, there is just enough variation in Mor?n's patten that keeps it from being the generic "bash bash bash," partly aided by Modd, Andersson and Olsson.

Given the artwork by Jan Meininghaus, you can tell that the concept behind here (if not of the whole album, of the title track) is of a futuristic Egypt. It's another one of those covers that lead you to believe it might be an illustration for a novel (though research doesn't reveal this to be the case). Not having the lyrics here, I can't say for sure what the story is about, which pretty much guarantees I'll have to listen to this a tad more ? much more -- to figure it out.

Tad Morose's Matters Of The Dark is another solid entry into the power metal arena, influenced by some of the more widely known names, but only a tad imitative. In the tad poll, they'd rank right there at the top.

Sword Of Retribution (4:42) / Matters Of The Dark (3:32) / Ethereal Soul (4:44) / I Know Your Name (4:02) / In The Shadows (4:36) / Another Way (4:02) / New Clear Skies (4:33) / Riding The Beast (5:02) / Reason Of The Ghost (4:41) / The Devil's Finger (4:15) / Don't Pray For Me (4:49)

Urban Breed - vocals
Christer 'Krunt' Andersson - guitars
Daniel Olsson - guitars
Anders Modd - bass
Peter Mor?n - drums

Leaving The Past Behind (1993)
Sender Of Thoughts (1995)
Paradigma (1995)
A Mended Rhyme (1997)
Undead (2001)
Matters Of The Dark (2002)
Modus Vivendi (2003/2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin SE

Added: April 6th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.tadmorose.com
Hits: 1230
Language: english


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