Monday, January 20, 2014

Tad Morose - Revenant

Tad Morose....this band conjures up some great memories for me when it comes to metal. I got to see the band open for Edguy in New York then see them again a few days later at ProgPower V in Atlanta. I actually got the chance to meet the band and spend some time with them and their former vocalist Urban Breed. Wow, that's coming up on 10 years ago now! The band has made it's mark in metal with their brand of traditional/power metal but it was Urban Breed that put these Swedes on the metal map.  Although they put out two quality albums prior to the Urban Breed era, I think most metal heads can agree that the albums with him were their very best. He is also one of the coolest people in metal!

So now we have Revenant, their first with new vocalist Ronnie Hemlin. Was he able to replace the irreplaceable?  No he wasn't. Urban Breed is unquestionably one of the best vocalists in metal today and his voice on any subsequent album by this will be surely missed. I am probably being biased because of the quality of the Urban Breed albums and was expecting a "Kamelot moment" when it comes to his replacement.  However, even though Ronnie Hemlin isn't horrible, his voice tires quite quickly. He actually reminds me of a second rate "Ripper" Owens if  "Ripper" were to only sing in a lower to mid register.  When Ronnie tries to go to a higher register, it doesn't work, at all.

With that said, the songs on the album are actually quite good. What you get here is a crunchier Tad Morose but all the while keeping the melody that we know and love about them. The songs are well written and the solos are well done with a mixture of technicality and melody.  Guitarist Christer "Krunt" Andersson and drummer Peter Moren are the only members from their glory days so the band has a mostly new line up but they get the job done very well. The opener, "Beneath a Veil of Crying Souls," starts the album off on a good note. The song is actually quite good and the chorus is rather catchy and Ronnie doesn't sound so bad. So far, so good. The second song "Follow" is a mid paced rocker with another catchy as Hel chorus....but the vocals are already starting to get on my nerves.

The rest of the album affected me the same way.  Great songs, although they vary from powerful rockers like "Babylon," "Absence of Light," "Millenium Lie," "Spirit World," and "Timeless Dreaming" to songs like "Ares" and "Dance of the Damned  with that eastern feel with an "Anubis" feel. There isn't a bad song on this album at all. They range from very good to great, but the vocals kill it. By the time I finished the album, I don't want to hear Ronnie Hemlin's voice ever again. Am I biased towards Urban Breed? Probably. But this album leaves me wondering why they chose him in the first place. Honestly? As good as these songs are, I would MUCH rather listen to Urban Breed's band Trail of Murder than listen to this album again. I probably will listen to it again, but when it's over I will have that same feeling. This album would have received 9/10 were it not for the vocals. What a shame.


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