Released: 2004, Century Media
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Johan Edlund has never been shy when it comes to experimentation. Each Tiamat album has been nothing short of ground-breaking, blending traditional metal elements with goth, 70s rock, doom, electronica and ambient. In other words, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Tiamat is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you’re gonna get.” On PREY, Tiamat has once again stretched their creativity to new levels bringing elements of their genre-defining WILDHONEY album into new and exciting atmospheric sounds that simultaneously stretch the boundaries of many musical genres.
The sound of chirping birds opens “Cain,” a song that is equal parts Type O Negative, Danzig and The Gathering. This is a great song and though labeling it “metal” is a bit of a stretch, it is certainly close. “Wings of Heaven” features a drum loop and some superb vocals from Edlund. “Divided” and “Carry Your Cross And I’ll Carry Mine” feature dominant female vocals and the latter is catchy as hell! “Light In Extension” sounds like a heavy Psychedelic Furs song but the long distorted guitar solo and sweeping keyboard outro ensure its place in the niche of goth metal. “Clovenhoof” is one of my favorites on PREY with its morbidly depressing vocal but catchy chorus. There are three instrumental tracks that serve as segways between songs more than anything and “Triple Cross” is merely a dance beat of the rhythm track from “Carry Your Cross And I’ll Carry Mine.” “The Garden Of Heathen” has an intro that sounds like people playing those glasses of water by circling the edge with their fingers, but it quickly becomes apparent that it is also the music of “Clovenhoof.” “The Pentgram,” which is based on a poem written by notorious wackjob Aleister Crowley (yes, THAT “Mr. Crowley”), combines all of the elements that Edlund has laid out on PREY into one brilliant song. Opening and closing with church bells, the song is reminiscent of Pink Floyd in its structure, composition and that all-too-familiar riff. A bonus track, “Sleeping (In The Fire),” is a cover of the W.A.S.P. classic that has been goth-ed up and really resembles nothing of the W.A.S.P. version. Tiamat has certainly put their own twist on this track and made it very original (NOTE: "original" does not equal "good").
PREY is definitely not for everyone. Many of the songs are plodding and the air of depression can get a bit tedious to those who aren’t open to this type of music. Speaking to those who are, I can assure you that Johan Edlund has delivered a brilliant CD of music that is not afraid to think outside the metal box.
KILLER KUTS: “Cain,” “”Wings Of Heaven,” “Carry Your Cross And I’ll Carry Mine,” “Clovenhoof”