|Classic Review: Tarot - Follow Me Into Madness|
|Follow Me Into Madness|
Label: Flamingo Music
Year released: 1988
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: December 9, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:Follow Me Into Madness
Tarot's debut was a healthy, hearty slice of melodic Metal fun, and what does a band usually do when they get their formula so right at first? They do it again, that's what. This is their sophomore album, and it sounds good, although it fails to distance itself from the debut in any major way, with a similar formula all around: heavy, catchy, hooky riffs hammered out like baby jackrabbits with strong, rich vocals that never get annoying or stale and a rock-solid rhythm base keeping up the rear, with the distinguishing factor being that Follow Me Into Madness still sounds like no-one else on Earth...well, except Tarot's debut, but hey, I think we can overlook it here.
This one starts off with the best song Tarot would ever write until 2003's Suffer Our Pleasures, and it goes by the name of "Descendants of Power." Seriously, holy shit, this is like the debut on fucking crack. We get a fist-pumping Heavy Metal riff of the Gods that rides along at high speed like a Formula One race car, a screaming, triumphant chorus and solos that will melt faces before initial contact. I cannot stress enough how much this song rules, and if they had written a whole album along these lines, we would have been talking Painkiller-esque levels of neck-snapping. I mean, even Judas Priest themselves would have shat themselves upon hearing this. This is the kind of song one uses to define a genre.
But that isn't the only song on here, as the album continues with the melodic, radio friendly stomper "Rose on the Grave," which has a nice chorus and some delicious leads, and overall it's a cool song, a little more streamlined and mature than the stuff on the debut. The title track is a slower song, and it's good, with some mystical, searing melodies and a darker atmosphere. Other standouts come in many colors with the smoking "Blood Runs Cold," the hooky "No Return" and the lively, rocking "Breathing Fire." The closing song is, again, a ballad, and it's not quite as good as the one from the end of The Spell of Iron, but it's decent - although the title track has already fulfilled the slower song/ballad quota this time around.
This sophomore effort from one of Finland's best Heavy Metal bands is admirable, if not an improvement over its predecessor, with too many songs that seem to run into each other. The energy level is high, though, and for a rocking good time, turning to Tarot's Follow Me Into Madness would not be a bad idea at all.
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