This review can be found here: http://www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=3265
Ever since their beginnings I have been a very big fan of TAD MOROSE and for just as many years they in my opinion are one of those bands that never even remotely received the recognition that they more than would deserve for their releases. In the battle for the crown of Metal capital of Sweden their home town Bollnäs now is one step ahead of Göteborg, because after one (far too long) year, which almost seemed like an eternity, TAD MOROSE are back with their already sixth complete album "Modus Vivendi" and the first thing that strikes is the cover, damn good one by Jan Meininghaus, who already had been responsible for the previous album "Matters Of The Dark", so a good start for sure.
Again recorded in Bollnäs, in Studio Soundcreation, TAD MOROSE still can build on a solid and stable line up with singer extraordinaire Urban Breed and riff master Christer "Krunt" Andersson right in the front, guitarist numero two, Daniel Olsson, plus the tight rhythm section of Anders Modd and Peter Morén. Since their debut "Leaving The Past Behind" 1993 and even more so since the singer change including a certain style correction "A Mended Rhyme" 1997 TAD MOROSE stand for first class Power Metal, somewhere between the American and European school, but absolutely original, how many bands can you really accuse of that anymore nowadays? And that has not changed in the least on "Modus Vivendi" and that is good!
Opener "Anubis" bears some Egyptian sounding melodies in the guitars (surprising with that title, eh?) and even though mid paced bristles with energy and has Krunt's trademark riffing as well as Urban Breed's as usual outstanding vocals, two of the very typical trademarks of the band sound. Urban definitely is one of the best and most original singers of his trade, on "No Mercy" his powerful voice is full of vitality and elevates the song into unthought of heights, a dynamic song, driven forward by heavy guitars and culminating in a catchy and memorable chorus, great! And it gets even better, with the first absolute hammer, titled "Afraid To Die". Intense, heavy, highly melodic, with gripping chorus, brilliant! "Clearly Insane" then adds two bricks, double-bass-driven, with heavy riffing and also in a bit more aggressive regions Urban Breed can fully convince and the chorus is once more incredibly catchy (but never shallow) and gripping, this CD is fun, damn big even!
Then with "Cyberdome" things get semi balladesque, with reduced speed and heaviness and even more emphasis on the melodies, yet still as intense as the songs before. Let's continue with "Take On The World" (I see it coming that I mention every single song, but what should I do?), with great melodies, strong guitars, just as strong drive, incredibly catchy and superb chorus, incredible, live this song should cause inch thick goose bumps! Then, well, then I was in for a big surprise, because the beginning of "Mother Shipton's Words" surely is the most heaviest stuff that TAD MOROSE ever have created! I would honestly rather have expected that from a Thrash Metal band, but TAD MOROSE would not be TAD MOROSE, if they would not have brought those irresistible, melodic parts in between the heavy passages, including a driving and very catchy chorus, which sweeps you off, quite big contrasting program, if you ask me!
Driving, very riffy and melodic is "Unwelcome Guest", which in the chorus reduces speed and heaviness quite a bit, but do not fear, as soon as the verse is nearing again, the track breaks through as in the beginning. "Life In A Lonely Grave" shows us the epic side of TAD MOROSE and is a nod towards the band sound of their early albums, which had been Doom induced, slow-paced with distinct chorus, nice trip back into the own past. Closing "When The Spirits Rule World" is very catchy again, mid-paced with a quite own guitar melody, which somehow reminds me of Egypt, India or something like that.
TAD MOROSE are one of those bands, where I sincerely doubt that they seriously could do a weak album! So far each and every release of them could fully convince and satisfy and ever since they have Urban Breed on board they seem to go from peak to peak and "Modus Vivendi" definitely is not an exception to this. Catchy, but never shallow, heavy, melodic, with an absolutely original sound, without superfluous bombast and blessed with one of the goddamn best singers out there, Urban Breed, the Taddies still are a guarantor for high class Metal, which deserves any attention you can give them!
(Alex, December 2003)
This review can be found here: http://www.metalcrypt.com/pages/review.php?revid=1482
When asked what type of music Tad Morose play, vocalist Urban Breed has apparently stated that the band does "Powerful Metal." Very clever! And to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't argue against it. This is not power metal that we generally hear. This is…well….just really powerful metal! On first listen, the album didn't really do much for me (It is a bit raw…just a bit). However, if you are one of those people who absolutely have to listen to catchy songs, then you might as well stop reading right now! This is not overly catchy music, but one that will pierce through with a few listens.
It has been about 2 months since I got "Modus Vivendi" and every consecutive listen makes me appreciate it more and more. The vocalist is just awesome. He doesn't display the impeccable and untouchable vocal range of people like Heiman, however, he does have an unbelievable voice that is as deep as it is commanding and powerful. We have a new contender on my list of all time greatest power metal vocalists. Urban Breed? Check!
Another great plus about the album are the song structures. The songs are very well written and the thing that sneaks this album in the "A+" league is that the band is not in a rush to deliver their choruses! Shit…I don't know what it is about mainstream music that tells the listener that you cannot enjoy the song until the chorus kicks in! A lot of metal bands too feel such a hurried need to deliver the chorus. Not Tad Morose however. They take ample time, multiple verses, rhythms and melodies to finally get to the chorus. And this is apparent on many songs on the disc and I cannot recommend this enough to other bands as well. If you have a good verse pattern going, let it build; and then build some more before you deliver the bang! It is just one of the reasons why this album is so beautiful.
All killer tracks! "No Mercy" will probably be of the few that will draw you in on first listen. Best songs on the album include "Cyerdome", "Anubis", "Afraid To Die" and "Lost In A Lonely Grave." I cannot recommend this album enough to anyone seeking raw, heavy and powerful metal laced with a solid dose of vocal melodies! "Modus Vivendi" is a very original album that neither flows from the American, nor the European vein of power metal. I can only compare them to Iced Earth…not because Tad Morose sound like them, but because their sound is very difficult to describe and compare with other bands.
"Modus Vivendi" is a mixed blessing. For one, it is an amazing album. But, this means now I have to go around hunting down the rest of the band's catalogue. In short – You want this disc. Go get it. NOW!
(4th Horseman, April 2004)
This is my most favorite album of all time (EDIT December 2012: until Shades of Art was released). It’s hard for me to find anything to criticize here. The songs are heavy, pretty straight forward, and contain a great deal of catchy melodies. It features some of Urban’s best performances. His use of clean and raspier vocals, his sense for catchy, but not cheesy melodies is amazing. The production is great as well, one can almost feel the sweat coming down off the walls, raw power throughout the whole album. Also the cover artwork is really well done, so I can only award the album with 10 points. Actually, apart from Shades of Art, this is the only album I own that really deserves these 10 points.
ANUBIS: 10/10; A mystical intro, a short drum break and the heavy guitars kick off the song. Already the first song of the album is a highlight. Urban’s raspy voice shines here too! Also the solo/bridge-part is really well done!
NO MERCY: 9/10; Great guitar riffs, a tight rhythm section and a cool chorus that basically consists of two words.
AFRAID TO DIE: 10/10; Probably my favorite song of the album. A bit slower than the first two songs, much heavier and Urban’s voice along with the pumping beat is truly amazing. Also the use of backing vocals in the pre-chorus and chorus is great. It almost can’t get any better than this!
CLEARLY INSANE: 9/10; A really fast paced song with no breather, still a very catchy song. In the first verse Urban uses some nice effect.
CYBERDOME: 10/10; Slow, heavy, a pumping beat. For contrast, the chorus has a half-time-feel that adds a lot to the atmosphere of the song.
TAKE ON THE WORLD: 10/10; Another wonderful song. Such amazing vocals: raspy in the verses, clean in the chorus, backing vocals that perfectly mesh with the main melodies (also the volume of them). A perfect metal anthem! The outro is only played on piano, a nice breather before the next song kicks off.
MOTHER SHIPTON’S WORDS: 10/10; All hell breaks loose. Even a bit faster than Clearly Insane, the song kicks off with double bass right away. The use of cymbals adds a sense of urgency and make the songs seem even faster than it is. The verses have a nice rhythm, but the pre-chorus already has the double bass again!
UNWELCOME GUEST: 9/10; An intro reminding of Alien or Predator, then another great guitar riff enters. To me this song is not as strong as the others on the album, but I guess 9 points says it all: that song is still much more than just enjoyable.
LIFE IN A LONELY GRAVE: 10/10; The longest song of the album. A post-apocalyptic view of the world, heavy screaming guitars, again a pumping beat and Urban’s voice can shine once again. Also the backing vocals here are great. Check out the guitar riff in the bridge, nice changes of timing there.
WHEN THE SPIRIT RULES THE WORLD: 9/10; Yet again another great song, I love that guitar riff in the verse and the vocal melodies in the chorus. “Oh, what wrong have I done?” Nothing wrong at all!
(Criss, August 2012)