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Tiamat - 1997 - "A Deeper Kind of Slumber" (60 min, Sweden)


****+
 1. Cold Seed
 2. Teonanacati
 3. Trillion Zillion Centipedes
 4. The Desolate One
 5. Atlantic as a Lover
 6. Alteration X 10
 7. Four Leary Biscuits
 8. Only in My Tears It Lasts
 9. The Whores of Babylon
10. Kite
11. Phantasma De Luxe
12. Mount Marylin
13. A Deeper Kind of Slumber

All music and lyrics written by Edlund.

Johan Edlund     - vocals, keyboards, rhythm-guitar
Thomas Petersson - lead guitars
Lars Skold       - drums
Anders Iwers     - bass

Guest musicians:
Inchtabokatables - violins
Sami Yli-Sirnio  - citar
Ertugrul Curuk   - flute
Anke Eilhardt    - oboe
Birgit Zacher    - (female) backing vocals
Dirk Draeger     - add keyboards (and producing)

Three years have not passed in vain, and fans and critics once again were surprized at Tiamat with their regular album. In my opinion, the band doesn't stop, making each new album better than the previous one. And if Sieges Even has stopped this enviable tradition, having produced (last) two similar and fairly commercial discs with all their ability to play extremely well technically, these Swedish guys, named after a Shumer deity, and not excelling in an outstanding virtuosity, still manage to produce each new album in a new, original style.

The absence of the excellent producer and keysman Waldemar Sorychta, who lost somewhere in the entrails of his obviously starless project Grip Inc. (the more so in company with Dave Lombardo from strongly disliked Slayer!), has not left the band disadvantaged. The new ruler of the sound Dirk Draeger has done very well, and a whole set of guest musicians (mainly, Indians) is enriches an overall sonority to a good degree. Thus, from "Wildhoney", the abounding in hits, but still simply a mix of Heavy Metal with Progressive elements, the ensemble closely approaches a kind of unsophisticated, but very original Progressive Rock.

I think, a really unnecessary track on album, the only drops out from the whole conception, is "The Desolate One" runned fourth. The debut track doesn't impress me much either, strictly speaking, it is the only true heavy rock song on album. Rather interesting, it simply serves as a contrast to the others. The second song Teonanacati, including Trillion (just a short instrumental that inseparable from it), are brewed in the best traditions of the previous disc: it's a typical Tiamatian doom-ballad of a good quality with interesting synth arrangements. But let's go further on, and a series of exotic masterpieces are follows, beginning with the fifth Atlantis and finishing with the nineth The Whores of Babylon. So, the middlle of the work teems with variegated findings, backed up by magnificent arrangements from the guests with a distinct Oriental colouring.

A bit of monotony is what can be said about the final part of the album. There are a set of good, but slightly similar Prog ballads of a melancholic content. However, it's a good thing that Floyd-like manners are absent here, and on the whole, the album looks, of course, more original than its predecessor. I hope, the best Tiamat album is yet to come, though this one shows a continued growth of the band. The original lead guitarist Petersson is back to the band, whereas bassist Hagel worked with Tiamat on 1992 and 1994 albums quit. I'm sure that traditional "Doomsters" are misses the point, accusing the band in falling down. As to me, I like all their albums, except the debut (it's simply repulsive!).

Summary. The new Tiamat album is confirms the fact, that this band is to be ragarded as one of the most interesting Doom-bands, not closed within themselves and not paying attention to the music fashion. Their search for the new forms of expression deserves the most flattering words, and their ability to surprise can be envied. So, "A Deepest Kind of Slumber" is real Progressive Doom album. All right, it does not reach the very hights of flying, but it doesn't become less valuable for those just wishing to perceive more complex music. Released by "Century Media". content

VM. 7.01.1999


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