|Review: Tad Morose - Undead|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2000
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: May 2, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 4.41/5 (88.28%) (29 Votes)
Holy shit. Tad Morose are a very good band, and their latest album Modus Vivendi gets a lot of press, but if you ask me, this one is their best to date. It was their second album with the inimitable Urban Breed on vocals, and their fourth album as a band, and it is also a near-perfect example of how to write a good Heavy Metal album.
For the uninitiated, Tad Morose play Power Metal, except not in the variety that the genre's soft-headed detractors would usually expect and henceforth condemn as unworthy of Metal status. No, Tad Morose's music is highly reminiscent of bands like Jag Panzer, Metal Church or Morgana Lefay, or even Hall of the Mountain King-era Savatage at times; mid-tempo or upbeat, always headbangable, except this band utilizes the excellent riff and groove sensibility of both early and Dio-era Black Sabbath. In fact, the style of songwriting here reminds me a lot of Arch-era Fates Warning, too, being excessively moody and esoteric, mystical and wondrous, yet still compulsively headbangable and undeniably Metal. I love the atmosphere of this album, too, as listening to the strange, eerie Egyptian grooves and dark, brooding verses will take your mind straight away to a place you could only dream of before - like the cover art, it reminds me of a dark, dank temple, spacious and old, weathered by unkind ages and abandoned by its Gods. There's something strangely alluring about this atmosphere, and it will keep pulling you back for more. The production is thick and crunchy, and Urban Breed's charismatic sneer is in full force here, and he wails and blasphemes out some of the best lyrics the genre has seen in years. Fuck, seriously, just look at this excerpt from "Order of the Seven Poles":
I've seen it all
It's the kind of greatness the Metal community expected from people like John Arch and Ronnie James Dio back in the day, and it is in no way a ripoff or derivative of anything. The music follows suit, being both knowledgeable of Metal's storied and noble history and completely original all the same. There is not even one bad song here, from the opening grind of "Servant of the Bones," the propulsive and high-octane "Another Time Around," with its choppy, stunted riffs flying at you like a swarm of killer hornets, the creepy, bizarre title track, with its slow build-up and creeping, crawling verse that explode into a bombshell of a chorus, the epic smash "Lord on High," and the eerie, slow stomp of "The Dead and His Son" that closes the album with style and class to spare. There's no way around it, this rules, and if you like Heavy Metal, then go get it. If not, then you best leave the hall immediately.
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