aec.bsle2262280.1 5/4/09 New
ID: aec.bsle2262280.1


    Amanethes Black Sleeves

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Review Text Never let it be said that Tiamat hasn't been one of Sweden's more chameleonic bands. First, they were death metal; then, they evolved into symphonic black metal, and after that, Tiamat embraced gothic metal and goth rock. 2008's Amanethes finds them continuing to move in a goth-oriented direction -- mostly goth rock, although parts of the 62-minute CD are relevant to gothic metal. Some of Tiamat's albums have been uneven; the Swedes' desire to try different things hasn't always made for consistent albums. But Amanethes is one of their more consistent and focused efforts, although metalheads should be warned that most of the tracks fall outside of metal. "Equinox of the Gods," "Via Dolorosa," and "Raining Dead Angels" have a lot of metal appeal, but many of the other songs are simply goth rock instead of gothic metal -- and from a goth rock standpoint, gloomy offerings like "Until the Hellhounds Sleep Again," "Misantroplis," "Lucienne," and "Circles" have a lot to offer. While Amanethes isn't for metal purists, the type of goth diehards who live and breathe Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, and the Crüxshadows should have no problem getting into this album; that is, assuming they don't have a problem with the disc's more metal-friendly items. Not all goth rock enthusiasts care for gothic metal -- some do, some don't -- and the ideal Amanethes listener is a Sisters of Mercy or Crüxshadows fan who can also get into the occasional male-fronted gothic metal recording (so many gothic metal bands have female singers). It also helps to have some appreciation of Pink Floyd; the ethereal "Meliae," for example, is unapologetically Floyd-minded. Again, this CD's metal appeal is limited, but serious goths will find Amanethes to be one of Tiamat's more memorable releases. ~ Alex Henderson

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