Released: 2010, King Foo Entertainment
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
4 long years have passed since the Finnish longtime heavy metal patrol, Tarot, released their previous 7th studio album, CROWS FLY BLACK, leaving the fans of the band full and satisfied for quite some time. However, since those 4 years have obviously been long enough to drive us, the fans of Tarot, to the verge of starvation, it felt simply awesome to find that Tarot´s 8th studio album, GRAVITY OF LIGHT, was finally out – and feeding our ´Tarot hunger´ with another delicious plate of magnificent and strong Tarot´s magic, blessed with an intelligent and mature song writing sense.
With devoted, repeated listens, GRAVITY OF LIGHT could be said to be 100% a Tarot product; even if slightly different than any of its predecessors, but still all the way sheer Tarot as we have known them to sound like for over 20 years already.
What they have more on this opus, is definitely an increased amount of Tommi "Tuple" Samela´s vocal parts in the songs, basically splitting the vocals together with Marco like half-and-half. Tuple´s nasal vocals may not raise a storm of applause among every Tarot fan, as people have used to hear Marco´s voice on the Tarot albums as the carrying force of the band. However, it´s no denying that also Tommi appears to be a great vocalist. His vocals alone in "Calling Down the Rain", simply justify Tommi´s increased vocal parts as a remarkable part of the Tarot sound, providing also some more nuances of different colors to the band´s own musical palette that has truly got deeper yet stronger colors over the band´s whole long and respectable history.
"Satan Is Dead" is a carefully yet the rightfully chosen opener for GRAVITY OF LIGHT in my opinion - that song that should have opened the album in the first place, too. It has all the vital characteristics of a Tarot song: it´s as catchy as two horny rabbits´ reproduction rite. It´s a very rhythmic heavy metal anthem, overall screaming to be a real stand-out song and the chorus could not possibly contain any more of this sticky gum effect that it already has in it. "Hell Knows" is more like an epic type of power ballad, in which both Marco´s distinctive and powerful vocal patterns meet Tommi´s softer vocalism nicely. Moving on to "Rise!" next, this mid-tempo yet sinfully catchy tune looks like a true wake-up call for the audience of a Tarot concert.
"Pilot of All Dreams" pushes pedal to the metal, incorporating into things a bit faster and more adrenaline-fuelled of the Tarot realm while "Magic and Technology" represents Tarot´s undeniable sense to write more mysterious and anthemic songs. "Caught in the Deadlights" is also kind of an epic sounding track - and the interaction between Marco´s and Tuple´s vocal parts works out somewhat seamlessly. Slower "I Walk Forever" is one of the album´s most powerful and harmonious numbers, and there´s no way that one could forget the obsessively catchy chorus part which goes like ´I walk forever, ´til my road winds up into the sky - never needed to learn how to fly...".
"Sleep in the Dark" is a more straightforward Tarot-styled ripper again, reminding me slightly of "Pyre of Gods" for its heaviness and sort of uncompromising tendency to pierce through your mind without feeling sorry and apologizing anything afterwards. The album´s closer tune, "Gone", is then again, one of the most epic and ambitiously crafted Tarot songs ever - probably my 2nd favorite song out of GRAVITY OF LIGHT right after the catchy opener "Satan Is Dead". To me it sounds like the guys have, at least partly, tried to reach the same feeling and atmosphere that one can catch on for example Led Zeppelin´s "Stairway to Heaven", or Rainbow´s "Stargazer" songs - I mean, finding yourself from the middle of all surrounding epicness and depths of strongly emotionally driven, different feelings and atmospheres. The song is beautiful and basically very capturing all in all.
GRAVITY OF LIGHT can be added to Tarot´s nearly flawless catalogue of studio albums as one of those albums in which Tarot is able to peel its skin partly to get something new into their songs, but still maintaining to keep its original, permanent and deep colors the way they have always had them in the band´s well distinctive sound. There´s not even a question about that whether GRAVITY OF LIGHT could be considered a mandatory purchase for the Tarot fans or not. It definitely is - and for any other metal fans out there who can appreciate a mature, catchy and damn well crafted heavy rock/metal in general, Tarot´s particular album in question is for all of you.