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Tiamat | Skeleton Skeletron | review | goth | metal | Lollipop


Skeleton Skeletron (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon

The quiet swish of cars on a rain-swept street, the buzz of a stop light's transformer, the ever-present consciousness that somewhere - perhaps just around the next corner - is something evil, yet there are hints of revelry just out of earshot, and the vibrant feeling of action, excitement and life all around you; these are the impressions of Tiamat's Skeleton Skeletron. Together ten years now, Tiamat's grown from a growl'n'roar death metal band into a mature, yet chillingly malevolent band that skates the fine lines of sensuous Goth metal, thick and heavy molasses metal, and ambient artsiness without dipping into cliché or irony.

Tiamat's groundbreaking epic, Wildhoney, opened like an evil ogre on a bender and closed with the wind blowing through trees, a faint Floydian melody sparkling like dew on the leaves, all without a stitch out of place. The transition was so smooth you never said, "Oh, here's where they start to get mellow." A Deeper Kind of Slumber was similar, but was more consistently mellow and, um, tiresome. Without the juxtaposition of animosity lurking just beneath the surface, the record flowed in and out of itself, starting where it ended and ending where it started. Skeleton Skeletron, on the other hand, combines harsh slabs of guitars with Johan Edlund's breathy, shadowy, rich and expressive voice. The melodies are strong without being intentionally infectious, the lyrics seem targeted at urban dwelling and inter-personal human minglings rather than some alien fixation or fantasyland psychodrama drivel, and while the end-to-end flow actually flows somewhere, each song in and of itself offers dynamics and tasty ear candy. And the keyboards, samples, and sound effects are not to be overlooked... Subtle, like a hand-carved doorway, exquisite in detail, yet overshadowed due to the dangerously calm, gleaming-eyed madman standing in it, rhythmically tapping a huge, bloody club on the sole of his dirt-caked boot.


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