Tad Morose – Revenant
Tad Morose – Revenant (2013)
Reviewed by Arno Callens
Ronny Hemlin. In some corners of the internet, he has the reputation of a mass murderer. While I myself wasn’t too fond of Steel Attack’s Carpe DiEnd, I don’t see that as reason enough to condemn him. His work on Steel Attack’s Enslaved and Diabolic Symphony is outstanding (as are the actual albums), and he recently did a very memorable guest stint on ReinXeed’s Welcome To The Theater, amongst others.
Now he’s the singer of Tad Morose, a cult band whose reputation is partially (if not largely) built around the voice of Urban Breed. I love Breed (see also Bloodbound), but upon hearing Tad Morose’s comeback album Revenant, it’s obvious he was not the sole reason the music was working. The music works because it has a dark mysterious vibe, and none of that is gone.
One major difference between Revenant and the eight year old Modus Vivendi is that the former is – ah – a tad more outspoken and aggressive. It’s energetic, it’s heartfelt, and if that means that some of the mystery is sacrificed, it also makes for more intense listening. There’s even some screaming, which in my perhaps limited memory, is new for these Swedes.
Another place where Tad Morose upped the ante is the chorus department. Now I can howl along to “Matters Of The Dark” or “Anubis” just fine, but it feels like Revenant takes it to another level. Not just instant earworms like “Follow” and “Ares”, but also more complex work in the fantastic “Gypsy” and epic “Spirit World”. Riffs, melodies, what more do you want?
And yet this album stands or falls depending on your appreciation of mister Hemlin. He’s less smooth than Breed, and adds more grandiosity, reminiscent of his gig in Steel Attack. His range is higher, and he wails with the best. “Beneath A Veil Of Crying Souls” is just one major example of that. Breed is off to Trail Of Murder (which left me lukewarm) and possibly Pyramaze (it’s dark on that front), and he’s better off there. Tad Morose found its new muse, its new speed, and Hemlin found a home. For me, it’s well more than I could have hoped for.
4.25 // 5