This review can be found here: http://www.metalcrypt.com/pages/review.php?revid=3938
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
So believe me when I say
Even valiant princes fall
Oh! but rise now, rise again
Each day they seek me out, observe me in disguise
They do not know about the one, they think they saw him die
Only I, yes only I remember what is true I heard your name and then I knew
The seventh pole would summon you
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.
(Larry Griffin, May 2008)
This review can be found here: http://www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=2474
Coming home, tired from work, I look into my post box. Letter from Century Media - nice. So let's take a look inside - and suddenly all the wear of work is blown away: The new TAD MOROSE!
I've loved this band ever since their debut "Leaving The Past Behind" and "Undead" had been one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of his year. Well, and what should I say? Bollnäs Metal Rules! After LEFAY had released a great album, TAD MOROSE are following suit, because "Undead" beats almost anything that is called Power Metal.
After an atmospheric intro, "Servant Of The Bones" is breaking through, powerful, crunchy and of course with the awesome vocals of Urban Breed! That they have replaced the keyboards with a second guitarist has got no negative effects (as I had originally feared), but leads to the sound being more powerful than ever. Next is "Another Time Around", slow- to mid-paced with a catchy chorus, while "Where The Sun Never Shines"'s riff reminds of the old TAD MOROSE, mid-tempo-double-bass give the necessary power and it all culminates in a grand chorus!
"Order Of The Seven Poles" is a doomy steamhammer-track with slight BLACK SABBATH-feeling and lives off Urban Breed's fantastic vocals, before the title-track comes over in stomping mid-tempo. "No Tears In The Rain" again is rather slow, but quickens the pace during the chorus. Well, and to contradict any even slight accusations of missing variability, "Lord On High" starts out with an atmospheric intro before storming out of the speakers a good lot faster, with more crunchy guitars , just to conjure up the old TAD MOROSE-melodylines in the chorus.
"Corporate Masters" for sure is the most catchy and accessible track of the albums, while "No Wings To Burn" provides us with a double-bass-driven chorus with incredible vocals again... The end is made up by "The Dead And His Son", which comes over as a mixture between a little "Sender Of Thoughts" and a good bit of "A Mended Rhyme" with its doomy pace and the intelligently placed keyboards.
Man, what an album! This album is not hip, this album is not modern (in sense of the current fashion of sound), this album doesn't sound like all the others - for this I LOVE THIS CD!!!
You want tips for checking out? OK, then take the tracks 1 to 11 from the tracklist!
When I had heard it for the first time, I wanted to give it 8,5 points, for the second time 9, then 9.5 and now I have to stop, because otherwise my scale won't fit anymore...