CD Reviews > Tiamat

Tiamat - Amanethes
Nuclear Blast

After a five year hiatus, Tiamat are back with Amanethes, an album full of musical surprises. Most of its inspiration is Greek in origin, since that’s where frontman Johan Edlund has spent three of those five years. The album’s title translates to a Greek interpretation of a cry of mourning.

The aforementioned Johan not only did the lion’s share of songwriting (as he always does), he also produced it, did the photography and designed the layout – not to mention performing the vocals, keyboards, and guitar. Johan is joined by guitarist Thomas Wyreson, bassist Anders Iwers, and drummer Lars Skold.

The first three tracks are by far the heaviest songs I’ve heard to date from Tiamat. I almost fell out of my chair when "The Temple Of The Crescent Moon" thunderously exploded after the spectral intro that evoked images of ghosts swirling through the air. "Equinox Of The Gods" brings us to wild, hedonistic rites around a bonfire, with a solemn break gathering around a blood-soaked altar; the outro has a child singing. Mental pictures of ravenous fangs dripping blood are evoked in the deadly "Until The Hellhounds Sleep Again". The dark, melodic "Will They Come" brings us back to the classic Tiamat sound we know and love.

I love the bass and keyboards in the sultry "Lucienne". Icy fingers grip the heart in the bleak, passionate "Summertime Is Gone". The wild, feral conjuration "Katarraktis Apo Aima" unleashes pure dragon-power! The morose "Raining Dead Angels" is heartbreaking! "Misantropolis" is like a dark journey along the River Styx.

"Amanitis" sounds like a continuation of the previous track, with dark strings sounding like a mandolin. "Meliae" is Country-flavored, yet with the Tiamat sound. There’s a nice guitar solo in the tormented "Via Dolorosa". "Circles" is beautifully romantic! The album ends with an intense mournful note with the forsaken "Amanes".

~Athena Schaffer