Originally written by Gregory Bradley.
Tiamat is not a band for the image-obsessed metalhead. With themes that mostly revolve around love and emotion, their image is almost anti-metal, in that every song isn’t about sheer aggression, hatred of mankind, and disemboweling. For the enlightened metalhead, however, Tiamat’s latest album, Prey, might be just the ticket to pierce your soul in such a way so as to spark your interest. This is definitely not an album for everyone, but the for the somewhat exclusive audience that this album does target, it’s practically a godsend. I’ve been listening to this album for a couple of weeks now, and it really hasn’t lost its impact. The brand of gothic doom metal that Tiamat delivers is so damned appealing; for some reason it just hypnotizes me. At points, it’s hardly even metal, more of a goth rock – yet somehow I still love it. I’ve been captivated by the band since I heard the song “Cold Seed” on a metal compilation years ago. The main thing that makes them a great band is their very catchy, bittersweet, sing-along choruses. You’d be hard pressed to find a song that you didn’t want to sing or whistle along to. These somber, despondent melodies stick in your head and refuse to leave. I’m not too familiar with Tiamat’s history, so I’m not sure if they’ve done a lot of female vocals on any of their albums. This album features a handful of tracks with female vox. The highlight of this album is definitely the vocals; the combination of Johan Edlund’s deep, mesmerizing tones and whomever did the beautiful female vocals is fantastic. I like Edlund’s Swedish accent. It’s charming and it fits with the gothic style so well. One of the best songs to feature a duet is “Carry Your Cross and I’ll Carry Mine”, where the hook is ultra catchy. The pure emotion conveyed is absolutely gripping, the songwriting is top notch, and the production has a unfathomable, dark depth to it that draws you into it’s abyss. As I said before, most people will probably pretend that they’re too hardcore for a band like Tiamat, but then you’ll find them cuddled up by the fire with a glass of wine listening to Prey. This album continues Tiamat’s innovation and well evolved songwriting skill. Metal doesn’t have to be about hatred and destruction to be good. I haven’t heard an album this gloomily excellent since Sentenced’s The Cold White Light. This album is like diving into a dark pool of water, it rushes over you and completely immerses you in its sheer power. I’m hooked.