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Tarot – Gravity of Light: Review

Tarot, the band led by Nightwish bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala, released their newest album in Finland on March 10. It is entitled Gravity of Light, and is the eighth studio album by the band. This is the first of their albums which I’ve heard, and though it was not a bad experience, I most likely won’t be searching through their catalog any time soon.

The Music (rating: B)

  1. Satan is Dead
  2. Hell Knows
  3. Rise!
  4. Pilot of All Dreams
  5. Magic and Technology
  6. Calling Down the Rain
  7. Caught in the Deadlights
  8. I Walk Forever
  9. Sleep in the Dark
  10. Gone

This is a heavy metal album with some power metal influences. In comparison to Nightwish, it has a more similar feel to the latest release, Dark Passion Play. It is much different from early Nightwish releases such as Wishmaster and Once, are dominantly symphonic and power metal. Still, the use of keyboards gives it a subtle symphonic feel, but it is far from the genre. And though saying so is very ambiguous, Gravity of Light is primarily heavy metal.

It basically follows the standard expectations of a heavy metal album: distorted guitars, heavy bass, flashy riffs, etc. But it does not go out of its way to surpass the norms. The album is rather generic and uninteresting in comparison to some of the better records available. And though it is difficult to offer something overly new with the amount of content already out there, this album does not even offer anything spectacular in terms of execution.

That is not to say it is a bad album. It’s merely not outstanding. There are decent guitar riffs and vocals, and on occasion, the bassist will throw in a fancy groove. This album is appreciable, but overall everything is done at a somewhat basic and standard level. The vocal lines are rather stale, and the drums and guitar are little above the average. Nothing noteworthy is offered by the instrumentals in this album.

But everything comes together decently. Though there is not anything stellar to work with in terms of parts, the assembly is good. Again, this area of the music is little above average. All of the songs follow a similar structure not only to what is out there, but also to what is inside the album. In fact, it feels like there are four songs in the middle of the album that follow the whole “verse-chorus-bridge” structure and end with some sort of fade-out catchy vocal phrase. It’s as though the band wrote them all within an hour under a constant mindset. And though in general I have nothing against doing so, it just feels really redundant and bland in this album.

Despite all the negativity I’ve presented towards this album, I do think Gravity of Light is a solid release. It is not a must-listen, but it is definitely listenable. There are no major highlights or downfalls, but it is the former that is problematic. Hopefully, Marco Hietala will have more luck with the upcoming Nightwish album than he did with this one.

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  1. Blubb
    March 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    You really should listen to the two former or the first release, they are MUCH better. Altough not very original.

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