Words: Craig Hartranft
Swedish heavy power metal band Tad Morose definitely falls into the category of "where have they been all these years." It's probably better than 10 or 12 years that I've heard from or listened to the band. To my surprise, after a nearly ten year absence, the band re-emerged in 2013 with Revenant. Didn't know that, so I didn't hear it. Which got me thinking. Of the albums I've heard from the early 21st century, I never bought a single one. I can't recall why. But it made me wonder, after being pitched the promo for their seventh long-player, St. Demonius, if I would feel the same way.
The answer is, at this point, two spins in, I'm ambivalent. Tad Morose's approach to metal is pretty straight forward. It's basically a mixture of traditional heavy and power metal, very twin guitar oriented, with emphasis on the riff dominance. I would even suggest some songs revert to an early thrash sound in those same guitars. A good example is The Shadows Play. It's not that the guitar's aren't harmonious, but they are thick, sharp, and overwhelming. There's an abundance of fine solos, though often brief, that truly fire up each song, mostly in the latter third. As for the vocals, former Steel Attack vocalist Ronny Hemlin has been on board since 2008. Again, here's another case for some ambivalence. His best style best described as melodic moderately screamo metal vocals, but he's very good at it. Definitely has a strong and resilient range. Additionally, in some sense, has a bit of a Ronnie James Dio timbre to his voice, just more rising and sharp. But I could take it or leave it.
There. I've pretty much hit the highlights, distilling Tad Morose and the songs of St. Demonius to it's too major elements: thick guitar riffs and assertive vocals. Yet, something still lingers about this album. St. Demonius has that certain, somewhat undefinable, "x-factor" that kept me listening. I think it basically came down to the guitars, the chord/riff structure, in the arrangements that moved the songs. They created enough intrigue, like this not all that hyper-technical ebb and flow that kept me interested. Yet, in the end, is any or all of these things enough to persuade you to buy? Perhaps not. But it does suggest you listen to what you can, starting with the video below. Your opinion my differ and persuade you otherwise.
St. Demonius finds Tad Morose returning a more straight-forward approach, heavy power metal driven heavily by the guitar structure and reinforced by the assertive melodic moderately screamo vocals.
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