Tiamat - Clouds review
01. In A Dream
03. Smell Of Incense
04. A Caress Of Stars
05. The Sleeping Beauty
06. Forever Burning Flames
07. The Scapegoat
Released in 1992 Tiamat's third full album saw another line-up change. This time the keyboardist Kenneth Roos was added to the band and the bassist Jörgen Thulberg was replaced by ex-Sorceror Johnny Hagel.
With the 'Clouds' album Tiamat took another step forward on the ladder of musical evolution. Melodic and acoustic guitars added on 'The Astral Sleep' are heard more often, lyrics and the vocals play a big part in an overall impression. Growling vocals are becoming rare and one must admit that Edlund has improved his singing skills to emphasize his unique raspy voice even more. And this time the listener is given a chance to hear the content of the songs without much effort which I find to be a very positive change.
A kick start to the album is given with a versatile 'In A Dream'. It has a fascinating chorus part and a fine guitar solo at the end. It is followed by the title-track that I like very much particularly because of the two lines at the beginning: 'If I walk on the water today / Will people worship me tomorrow?'. The meaning is not exactly what it is in the context of a song, yet has a very subtle meaning regarding human personality.
Listening first time to the album almost two years ago, the only track I could really remember was 'Smell Of Incense'. It is quite a speedy track with Edlund's raspy voice heard clear. I know the latter impressed me very much at the time for this album was the first Tiamat album I ever heard. The next comes a slower 'A Caress Of Stars' blending well quiet acoustic parts and heavy riffs.
The best song of the album is the upcoming 'Sleeping Beauty'. This is a track that leaves a good impression on me with its versatility and compositional maturity. Quiet and louder, more aggressive parts vary, at some points creating quite a controversial atmosphere. The album is continued by 'Forever Burning Flames' and 'Scapegoat'. The latter one is particularly interesting for the content. Not that I like the point much but in my opinion it's not far from the truth. Last comes 'Undressed' and makes a fine ending to the album.
'Clouds' is a very appropriate title for an album that is in most part about dream world, hidden sides of soul and the otherworld. Actually the lyrical content is quite free to be interpreted as one desires. Some songs have more meaning than the other. Yet, now writing this review I for the first time thought about an image that has been trying to get out for a long time. To me, music and lyrics of this album combine into a painful dream world of a soul on the edge of dying, a man in a desperate fever seeing dreams in his agony. Maybe it is in accordance with lyrical content but it is something I see while playing this album.
In conclusion I must say that every song is distinct in its own way and together they form a strong album. The band has finely succeeded a task of creating a fine piece without repeating themselves. Yet, this one falls somewhat short of what is yet about to come. In some way this album is the transitional one. It is a bridge between the past works and the future albums. But it doesn't make it any worse. This album deserves to be heard and it will often have a spin in my player for its atmosphere.
Written on 09.02.2004 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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