2012-10-31

Review: Tiamat - The Scarred People


Band: Tiamat
Album: "The Scarred People"
Style: Gothic Metal
Release date: 2012-10-26
Origin: Sweden

Tracklist:
1. The Scarred People
2. Winter Dawn
3. 384
4. Radiant Star
5. The Sun Also Rises
6. Before Another Wilbury Dies
7. Love Terrorists
8. Messinian Letter
9. Thunder & Lightning
10. Tiznit
11. The Red Of The Morning Sun

The good old Swedes in Tiamat are back with a new album, more than four years after the band's latest offering "Amanethes" (2008) - which in turn came five years after "Prey" (2003). So to say that the band are in a hurry is to overstate things. Thankfully, mastermind Johan Edlund & co. makes the most out of this long absence and (mostly) gives us quality over quantity.

Tiamat has always been something of a musical chameleon, constantly changing something on each new album. But this time, the surprises aren't actually that many. Instead, there's something of a familiar feeling all throughout the duration of "The Scarred People". We get the gothic uptempo/pop-ish parts from "Judas Christ" (2002), the surrealistic prog-like moments from "A Deeper Kind of Slumber" (1997), some heavy, dreamlike doom-ish crunches á la "Wildhoney" (1994) and "Clouds" (1992) and even some country- and blues-influences that sounds weirdly out of place at first listen. I would say that on a whole - "The Scarred People" sounds like a combination of "Judas Christ" and "A Deeper Kind of Slumber", which in my book is a damn good grade.

Tiamat 2012: Lars Skjöld, Anders Iwers, Johan Edlund & Roger Öjersson
The first five tracks are all equally impressing in their own way - from the uptempo soon-to-be-classic title track (which is impossible not to stomp your foot along to), to the ballad-like drug trip that "The Sun Also Rises" is. Another thing which might be familiar to long-time listeners of the band, are those goddamn annoying instrumentals - here represented by "Before Another Wilbury Dies" and "Tiznit". Think "Kite" and "Diyala" from earlier albums and you know what I mean. Pointless, but thankfully it doesn't destroy the flow of the album. And that is one thing that "The Scarred People" succeeds in, whereas "Amanethes" failed utterly; the ability to flow along, leaving the listener in a cozy state of mind where Tiamat are gods.

Lyrically, Edlund does his usual thing; ranging from funny stuff:
"In Hamburg suburbia
With a girl from Serbia
With all God's crystal methedrine
And a train to take me back to Berlin

All was spoken, all was done
And a little swedish lady came along"
to Bob Dylan-thefts:
"The times they're a changing"
to his usual downright embarrasing lines:
"Make your wishes, put your spell
But don't fuck with my hell"
If you've heard anything from the band's back catalogue from 10-15 years back, this shouldn't really come as a surprise. It's there because it's Tiamat basically.

I am actually having a hard time trying to find anything negative to say about this album and I am truly surprised that the guys managed to craft such an impressive album. I think that the new guitarist/keyboardist/mandolin-player Roger Öjersson must have been a real vitamin-injection for the band -  he's also written a good deal of these new songs. Perhaps he is that something that, in my opinion, has been missing since "A Deeper Kind of Slumber". It sound like a new, revitalized Tiamat whom has not only managed to write a couple of really strong songs - but also sounds like as if they have had a lot of fun whilst doing it.

RATING:
9/10



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