Tiamat’s long awaited come back entitled “The Scarred People” is certainly characterized by that exquisite darkness that has become a seminal trademark for the band. Tiamat’s music style has been evolving deeply since the breakthrough release of the album “Wildhoney” back in 1994, but even now you can still perceive those hallucinogenic/psychedelic rock elements that brought the rightfully deserved fame. Since then, Johan Edlund has fully embraced the darkness of gothic rock and has reinvented Tiamat’s music style over and over. It just seems reasonable that a talented musician such as Edlund desires to explore different musical facets rather than to play it safe with the same old songs to keep people happy.
The title track flows naturally and easily revolving around a simple, yet fundamental, groovy tune. The musical core is undeniably melodic stripped of any traditional metal elements and closer to old school darkwave. The addition of atmospheric keyboards enriches the sound and Edlund’s vocals are exquisitely dark as expected.
“Winter Dawn” has a lovely gothic framework enhanced by catchy and more metal guitar riffs. Certainly, Edlund’s vocals are always the center of attention with that amazingly decadent yet soothing delivery.
“Radiant Star” still dwells in the realm of darkness but it is also filled with sugar coated melodies and a memorable soothing guitar solo characterized by a flawless clean sound.
“The Sun Also Rises” follows the same guitar driven hyper melodic theme with the addition of a slightly more dramatic vibe.
“Before Another Wilbury Dies” is an instrumental track with a more modern alternative rock approach that revolves around groovy guitar melodies.
“Love Terrorists” has a very energetic structure that blends genuinely with highly atmospheric synths and super gloomy vocals. Again, the focus is the lead guitar work which is effortlessly comforting and impeccably melodic.
The peaceful sound of rain introduces the listener to the dark danceable groovy guitar riffs of “Thunder & Lightning”. The super catchy chorus, the easy melodies and the brilliant crispy guitar solo make this track particularly accessible and memorable.
“The Red Of The Morning Sun” is a treat for those who are stuck in the past and deeply miss the harmonious perfection of “Wildhoney”. Edlund’s vocals are passionately impeccable, there is a lovely gothic theme made of emotional semi acoustic arpeggios while enlightening distorted melodies and majestic keyboards dominate the chorus. This track simply has everything you might possibly need.
“The Scarred People” is a comprehensive mix of a wide array of music genres reinterpreted in perfect gothic fashion that might not be an anthem of innovation but it’s certainly a pleasantly mature artistic effort. I would recommend “The Scarred People” to those listeners willing to simply enjoy it rather than analyze it and compare it to the older releases.