The Swedish band TAD MOROSE was formed in 1991, but it was only two years later that their debut album, “Leaving The Past Behind”, saw the light of day. Back then, the band played Progressive Power Metal, comparable to FATES WARNING, DREAM THEATER, SAVATAGE, and so on.
From 2000 on the style was changed in favour of Power Metal instead of Progressive Metal, starting with “Undead”, followed by “Matters Of The Dark” (2002) and ending with the very good “Modus Vivendi” (2003). In fact, each of those three albums is very much worth having. Sadly, they’re not available anymore these days, or at least very hard to obtain. You can still get, for example, “Leaving The Past Behind” (1993) and “A Mended Rhyme” (1997).
A few line-up changes and several gigs later, let’s fast forward to 2013. Please welcome “Revenant”, the band’s seventh studio album, released ten years after “Modus Vivendi”. “Revenant” was released on the 22nd of November 2013 via Despotz Records, and contains twelve tracks. Style-wise the band went more into the Heavy/Power Metal territory. No more Progressive stuff.
It begins with the firm and powerful sounds of “Beneath A Veil Of Crying Souls”. The vocals remind me, in a way, of Tim Ripper Owens, but here they sound lower. The chorus is catchy, with anthemic singing. The obligatory solo moment is preceded by a headbang-friendly part. After that it’s chorus time again and on towards the ending of the song. “Follow” follows with heavy riffing and powerful drumming. Midtempo Heavy/Power Metal verses connect with a hymnic chorus.
“Babylon” is a first surprise or highlight, you could say. The beginning is powerful and massive. A beast of a song! Heavy guitar work, thundering drums, powerful vocals… killer stuff. The anthemic, pounding chorus also allows for some headbanging, if you feel the need to do so. The little part that is played before the verses reminded me of PAGAN’S MIND’s “Through Osiris’ Eyes”. The solo is set halfway, followed by another verse round, chorus and that PAGAN’S MIND riff. “Within A Dream” does have an intro that leads into full power, midtempo Heavy Metal. A pounding, melodic bridge makes it possible to reach the bombastic chorus. Again the solo moment was set over halfway the track.
So far, so very good. But then comes “Ares”, a slower and Doomier kind of song. Melody is set in the chorus. For the solo part Peter changed his drumming a bit, made it more active. I found the song less attractive than the preceding songs. Not because of the slowness, but in general. Not that’s it’s a bad song, not at all, it just doesn’t have the same spirit as the others. “Absence Of Light” is another song that failed to convince me. It starts gentle and atmospheric before all power breaks loose, and you get a stream of midtempo chugging. This is countered by the melodic chorus.
The situation improves again with “Death Embrace” with its melodic intro, followed by Power Metal with capital P and M. The chorus is rather hymnic and alright, yet nothing fancy. But the song is another hit. “Dance Of The Damned” can be added, in my humble opinion, to the list of non-hits. It’s a midtempo song with melodic guitar peaks. Ah, a ballad: “Spirit World”. And a Poppy chorus as well to round it off. Well, not really, as halfway things become more powerful and that’s good! “Timeless Dreaming” throws more Power fuel onto the Metal fire, in vein of PRIMAL FEAR. Excellent! And near the end, there’s even a touch of CLAWFINGER in the rhythm guitar.
Sadly, though, the graph drops again afterwards. “Millennium Lie”, written apparently with only one n in the official tracklist, is another dragging, midtempo song. With a fairly boring chorus, to be honest. “Gypsy” may have more power and drive, which in se is good. But the slowness of the chorus drags the tempo down. However, musically the vocals are in charge here of the melody. All ends with an atmospheric outro.
TAD MOROSE have indeed thrown off the Progressive coat and donned a Heavy/Power Metal one. Is that a good choice? Why, yes. But it does result in quite a contrast with the older albums, resulting in simpler songs. Good about “Revenant” is the fat production, the compositions (in the highlights), and the epic vocals. Not that good/attractive are (again) the vocals (not that much variety in singing style) and the same kind of riffing that can be a bit tedious after a while. All things considered, it is far from a bad album. But in the entire discography of the band, it’s not among the best.
- Beneath A Veil Of Crying Souls
- Within A Dream
- Absence Of Light
- Death Embrace
- Dance Of The Damned
- Spirit World
- Timeless Dreaming
- Millenium Lie
Ronny Hemlin – vocals
Tommie Karppanen – bass
Kenneth Jonsson – guitar
Christer ’Krunt’ Andersson – guitar
Peter Morén – drums