Rating:
10
Tiamat - Wildhoney
1994


01. Wildhoney
02. Whatever That Hurts
03. The Ar
04. 25th Floor
05. Gaia
06. Visionaire
07. Kaleidoscope
08. Do You Dream Of Me?
09. Planets
10. A Pocket Size Sun


Having released Israel tour EP "The Sleeping Beauty" in 1994, Johan Edlund decided to scrap the lineup as he wasn't satisfied with the results he got. Only keyboardist Johnny Hagel remained. With session musicians Magnus Sahlgren on lead guitar and Lars Skold on drums, Edlund proceeded to make an outstanding album, one that opened doors to a wider audience and remains a beacon in music history.

The change in the sound can be tracked through all previous albums. And as "Clouds" opened melodic side of Tiamat, "Wildhoney" now thrives on this opening. The death metal is still the evident influence, yet it's role has greatly diminished. Instead music is focused on harmonies and this is probably the birth of gothic-sounding Tiamat. It is a major turning point in Tiamat's music and especially Edlund's compositional directions. This is the album that really took the step towards the Tiamat we know today.

"Wildhoney" is a peculiar title for the album. But it is chosen to emphasize the music. Somehow this name best associates with a dead hot summer heat. If you can imagine walking through a forest and then suddenly coming out into a field, and you can see the drought has made the field dry, thickets and grass yellow. And sun is still in the sky at noon day, baking... It's hot, you feel and see the air shimmer... Well, this album sounds exactly like this.

The guitars, sometimes heavily distorted, sometimes clear and high or acoustic, keyboards, orchestration elements and many different sounds are put together to create an emotional atmosphere, with a touch of Floydy feeling. I've seen it being named "Pink Floyd meets death metal". Bit too arrogant but it does have a certain amount of truth in it. The songs are slow and fitting well together, especially a couple of interludes in-between with sounds of nature to emphasize the title. Though such interludes are sometimes considered a trick and a lack of compositional imagination, it is not true this time. Though namely interludes, they're role is more important than "merely" interludes.

Previous albums have all featured good intros. The album is straight away opened by a title track. Well, it's not a musical track as such - it features sounds you can hear on this red hot field under the sun. But up next comes "Whatever That Hurts" with probably the most memorable chorus on this album. Since I first heard Edlund really sing, I have admired his voice - a low, raspy, breathing voice that manages to create oppressed atmosphere. And this particular song deserves it, especially since it's about hallucinations and the psylocybe tea.

This album is much more symbolic than any previous works. It's hard to find any foothold, any thread that runs through all songs. But the atmosphere suggests, or even demands a deeper insight, helping to create a fitting mood. Dreams and visions, imaginations and hallucinations... In these four words you can try to find a meaning to anything. "The Ar", a bit faster song tells about the pentagram, original sign of the Aryan race, the symbol of Ar. "Gaia", is probably (I want to emphasize probably) the best track of the album, a breathy song about nature, with a beautiful guitar and keyboards parts - a track deserving to be released a single. "Visionaire" is a darker and pressing track while "Do You Dream of Me?" is almost a track to make you sleep with acoustic guitars. And I love the solo part with guitars and drums, such a beautiful melody. And then there's "A Pocket Size Sun" another beautiful track.

Honestly, I can't pick any particular track as best. I listen to a track and I think this is the best. Then I listen to another and think that this another one is the best. This album is so consistent in the sound that it makes the task of choosing impossible. But I can easily tell that this is the best album Tiamat has ever released, the atmosphere is perfect, the music perfect. But to achieve the same state you need to listen to it somewhere quiet without any interruptions. The result is amazing... And it grows on you with each listen. 10 only begins to describe it... And I think it's not overrated. The change might not be liked by earlier fans who prefer death metal but it's the quality of composition and not the genre we're rating.


Band profile: Tiamat
Album: Wildhoney


 



Written on 02.10.2004 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More reviews by Ivor ››



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Talvi - 14.11.2006 at 00:23  
Is this album really Death Metal? I think of it of just gothic...
JohnDoe - 09.03.2007 at 16:04  
Wildhoney is Tiamat's best work; a masterpiece of rock/metal, a groundbreaking, innovative, experimental piece of work. At least to me.
Spyroid - 11.06.2007 at 22:07  
Wonderful and brilliant album, a real masterpiece.
Dandelion - 12.06.2007 at 14:51  
the best along with deeper kind of slumber...unfortunately the continue wasnt as good as hoped
Marcus - 12.09.2007 at 06:10  
This is one of my favorite albums of any band, with Pocket Sized Sun in my top 5 songs of all time!!
THE_BLACK_GOD - 18.04.2008 at 14:07  
this is a perfect album and i dont care it is gothic or doom or death or what the hell. it perfect its important to me and i am agree with 10
Elio - 15.08.2008 at 16:44  
I have to check it out!it seems really really really interesting!
Motte - 16.08.2008 at 00:30  
I'm with you on this review 1000%. It is one of my top 3 albums of alltime. The atmosphere on it is just unbelievable.
Elio - 11.06.2009 at 11:46  
And i finally checked it out

Truly a great album, why didn't anybody order me to listen to this?
Uirapuru - 21.12.2009 at 12:30  
Dear lord! This is too good! I was skeptical with the rate and the review... but this is truly amazing. One of the best of all time with praise!
Lord Nifiel - 15.08.2010 at 17:37  
Amazing album indeed. They played it in it's entirety at Wacken Open Air festival this year, needless to say it was a show to remember.
Ivor - 15.08.2010 at 17:49  
Written by Lord Nifiel on 15.08.2010 at 17:37

Amazing album indeed. They played it in it's entirety at Wacken Open Air festival this year, needless to say it was a show to remember.

Got any more specific comments about that show? I'm really envious of those who managed to see that show. Wish I could've seen it as well.

I.
Marcel Hubregtse - 15.08.2010 at 18:25  
Written by Ivor on 15.08.2010 at 17:49

Written by Lord Nifiel on 15.08.2010 at 17:37

Amazing album indeed. They played it in it's entirety at Wacken Open Air festival this year, needless to say it was a show to remember.

Got any more specific comments about that show? I'm really envious of those who managed to see that show. Wish I could've seen it as well.

I.


I heard from a couple of big big Tiamat fans that the show was very dissapoining. That somehow they didn't manage to pull it off well, and that a lot of the atmoshpere was somehow lost. A shame really, cause imo Wildhoney is their best and after that they went downhill quickly.
Ivor - 15.08.2010 at 18:32  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.08.2010 at 18:25

I heard from a couple of big big Tiamat fans that the show was very dissapoining. That somehow they didn't manage to pull it off well, and that a lot of the atmoshpere was somehow lost. A shame really, cause imo Wildhoney is their best and after that they went downhill quickly.

I know what you mean. The album is brilliant and expectations must have been very high. I've seen them do songs off "Wildhoney" when they performed here in Estonia and those came out well enough. But I would like to hear first hand impressions about WOA performance.

I.
Lord Nifiel - 25.08.2010 at 21:07  
Written by Ivor on 15.08.2010 at 18:32

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 15.08.2010 at 18:25

I heard from a couple of big big Tiamat fans that the show was very dissapoining. That somehow they didn't manage to pull it off well, and that a lot of the atmoshpere was somehow lost. A shame really, cause imo Wildhoney is their best and after that they went downhill quickly.

I know what you mean. The album is brilliant and expectations must have been very high. I've seen them do songs off "Wildhoney" when they performed here in Estonia and those came out well enough. But I would like to hear first hand impressions about WOA performance.

I.



Was the 5th time I saw them and this is probably the show I liked best, but could've been that I was in exactly the right state of mind... I had just broken a rib 2 hrs previous to the gig and met a girl who gave me a morphine painkiller that got mixed with alcohol ^^
Derwood - 28.08.2010 at 17:35  
I've had this album in my collection for years. I don't know if I never actually listened to after I picked it up or what, but I can't recall having ever heard it before. Seeing Ivor's review bumped up and reading it prompted me to listen to it.

What a dumbass I've been. This is a bloody amazing album that has been gathering dust on my shelf for more than a decade.

D'oh!
Ivor - 30.08.2010 at 09:55  
Written by Derwood on 28.08.2010 at 17:35

I've had this album in my collection for years. I don't know if I never actually listened to after I picked it up or what, but I can't recall having ever heard it before. Seeing Ivor's review bumped up and reading it prompted me to listen to it.

What a dumbass I've been. This is a bloody amazing album that has been gathering dust on my shelf for more than a decade.

D'oh!

All I can say is good for you! I'm glad it has helped at least someone to discover this amazing album. Oh, and thanks for this comment - that is sincerely the best praise one could get for a review.

I.
Powerslavex - 30.08.2010 at 13:17  
I love this album, brilliant i think Gaia is my favorite song

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