|Review: Tad Morose - Matters of the Dark|
|Matters of the Dark|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 18, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Matters of the Dark
Ahh, the pain of having to follow up a great album. Tad Morose scored big with "Undead", and so expectations were extreeemely high for the follow-up. "Matters of the Dark" will unfortunately go down in memory as an excellent album that cannot stand up to its predecessor.
The Tad Morose school of metal is singular and unique, not really sounding like anyone else to any great degree. They used to be a prog-metal band, and their sound made a lot more sense when I found that out, as vocalist Urban Breed's vocal style reflects the type of catchy, open melodies you find in prog. The overall approach here is definitely metal, with a catchy riff style reminiscent of mid-period Fates Warning or maybe Onward, but not as busy. Tad Morose have a winning formula with their tasty, heavy riffs overlaid with Urban Breed's memorable vocal lines, and they don't deviate from it.
And that would have to be the only caveat with "Matters of the Dark" – that it breaks no new ground, and is not as good as "Undead". Now that is hardly a stinging criticism, and there are legions of bands that never produce an album even half this good. But the fact remains that this is not the stellar album "Undead" was. The last 4 tracks here kind of run together, and while they are not annoying, they aren't up to the level we have come to expect from this band. The first five songs are as good as anything Tad Morose have ever done, but this time they can't quite keep the momentum.
The CD art is very cool, keeping with the vaguely Egyptian/Sci-Fi look of the last album. Again Urban Breed's lyrics are excellent, very poetic and strange. The band thank-you's are pretty indulgent, but that's neither here nor there.
So this is another fine CD from a great and unique band. If you have to pick a Tad Morose CD to start with, go with "Undead", but this one is almost as good, and any fan of melodic heavy metal will find a lot here to smile about.
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