Tiamat - Judas Christ - Clear Vinyl -LP


Tiamat is Swedish band that has been making music for quite a while now. Formed in 1987 under a juvenile provocative joke of a name (Treblinka), they quickly dropped the gimmicks and changed their name to something more fitting to the music. Tiamat is a figure out of ancient Anatolian mythology and the name fits the music just fine, as their music really captures, and synthesizes elements of western aspects with middle-eastern traits and creates unique expressions and impressive concepts in most of their released material.

Their early work was very death metal orientated, but with Wildhoney back in 1994 they had their musical breakthrough. They have, so to say, found their vocation in music. Since then they have moved away from their heavy doom/death oriented sound to a more brighter side of atmospheric/gothic rock. Judas Christ marks their seventh effort, produced with a sound more mature than on "Skeleton Skeletron". Additionally, this LP has a fuller content and emits the message of the music a little bit better that its precursor.

Judas Christ starts off with a slow, very melancholic track named "The Return of the Son of Nothing". Starts off with a soft melody, played on a clean muted guitar and switches to a very doomy heavy guitar tone, playing a very sober riff, that is determined to pull the listener down in his mood. Slow paced, very sincere drum patterns with a bit of an echo to them begin hammering the catchy mournful, yet powerful main riff after a chorus. As the structure progresses, sorrowful strings unfold the true essence of what is to come. After the introductory piece, the album's pace speeds up a bit, but still changing between clean guitar parts and bass lines and heavy sluggish distorted guitars. The progression also includes, aside from softly sung vocals, some chants here and there that resemble childish melodies, adding to the bizarreness of the concept. The soli on the album that are on a majority of the songs and really cause nostalgia, paying tribute to amazing old school heavy music, crescending into ecstatic moments of pure majestic rock'n'roll. Interestigly enough, there is much variation between the single songs. The range varies from slow, melancholic pieces to energetic, almost satiric hippie-like sounding songs, such as "Vote for love" or "I am in love with myself". But don't let Tiamat fool you in standards of surprise. Listening to tracks such as "Fireflower" and "Sumer by Night" may generate goose bumps, as the latter features oriental instruments, as well as a woman chanting and later screaming hell out of her. As for the vocalist, Johan Edlund has a unique way in writing his lyrics and executing his vocal duties. The singing remains constantly clean and his lyrics all have their own personal character, unlike many acts especially in the gothic rock scene. Now, many may think that the goth rock scene is full of whiny, depressed people who have no perspective whatsoever and just wither away in their pseudo "emotional" music. As this may be fully true to many bands in the scene, Tiamat rather expresses strength and superiority within their lyrics.