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Tiamat - The Scarred People (2012) - Review

Band: Tiamat
Album title: The Scarred People
Release date: 31 October 2012
Label: Napalm Records

01. The Scarred People
02. Winter Dawn
03. 384 - Kteis
04. Radiant Star
05. The Sun Also Rises
06. Before Another Wilbury Dies
07. Love Terrorists
08. Messinian Letter
09. Thunder & Lightning
10. Tiznit
11. Born To Die (Bonus)
12. The Red Of The Morning Sun
13. Paradise (Bonus)
14. Divided (Live - Bonus)
15. Cain (Live - Bonus)

More than four years after Amanethes here comes the tenth studio album from legendary Tiamat. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have kind of soft spot for this band since their early days. I liked very much almost all albums from their discography, the only one that didn't get my sympathies was Judas Christ from 2002. Yes, I needed a lot of listens of The Scarred People to fully grasp it and I liked it. It differs from their last effort, though I expected some songs in the vein of great "Via Dolorosa" or "Raining Dead Angels" and not to speak about "Equinox Of The Gods", but it didn't happen. Tiamat, like before Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Moonspell, The Gathering and yet I could name a lot of other bands, decided to offer what they do best, in Tiamats case it is atmospheric, doomy, dark, gothic metal/rock. Fans of their first two albums on the other hand, should stay far away from this one, as it doesn't offer anything for them.

Everything that made Tiamat one of the most recognized and influential bands in their more than twenty years long career in gothic metal fields is present here. Also their evident love of atmospheres produced by Pink Floyd, which started to evolve within Tiamat music since Clouds album and flourished on Wildhoney are here. Then, gothic rock drive, as the one on Vision Thing from The Sisters Of Mercy is deeply incorporated in The Scarred People. Gothic doomy riffs are dominant on some tracks and give a right depth to the featured songs, just listen to almost epic opener "The Scarred People" with its massive wall of sound. Perfect atmosphere which should give some joy to all those who liked album Prey or songs like "Brighter Than The Sun" from Skeleton Skeletron. Johans voice is deep and warm like always, it's emotional and can't be really compared with anyone else. "384 - Kteis" is deep, dark doom metal that gives some shivers. The sound is compact, gentle and smooth drive, sometimes very addictive and catchy melodies should get under your skin with songs like "Radiant Star", "The Sun Also Rises" or "Love Terrorists" with its floydian atmosphere. I felt almost like back then in 1997 when listening to A Deeper Kind Of Slumber. Even the birds are here ("Tiznit"), like on Wildhoney. "The Red Of The Morning Sun" is bewitching and elegant trip into most obscure outworlds. "Messinian Letter" and "Thunder And Lightning" are the songs that I could easily skip from here. The first one is kind of silly turn into some vibrations from Judas Christ album, meanwhile the second one, with its speed-up tempo, is just out of albums pace. Those lucky enough who have or will get the release with bonuses will win the tern. The cover of Lana Del Rey's song "Born To Die" is breathtaking, great atmosphere, Johan's voice turns out really great in here, with kind of dark popy edge and use of spacey kind of background electronics must take you somewhere, hit. And imagine Tiamat making a cover of Bruce Springsteens "Paradise"... Semi acoustic ballad in the style of pure Tiamat from Wildhoney or Deeper Kind Of Slumber, amazing atmosphere, briliant guitar work and gloomy synths, a lot, I mean really a lot of depthness. Some editions feature live recordings of "Divided" and "Cain" from Prey album, but are somehow shallow, anyway not that bad to spit on them.

If it happens that you'll find this album after first listen boring or predictable, like it happened to me, give it another try, because it's one of those albums that needs a devoted listener, not because of its complexity, but because of so many layers that unveil in front of the listener after many spins, and only then the beauty of those compositions can breath in its fullest form. The Scarred People can be also a nice album for background music, although it's not for every opportunity, the mood must be right. In its core this is one of the darkest Tiamat albums, but paradoxically also the one that holds huge amount of positive power.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8,5/10