Tiamat Judas Christ

Johan Edlund didn’t purge himself of his pop yearnings with Lucyfire’s This Dollar Saved My Life at Whitehorse. Tiamat’s latest offering is even more pop sounding than Skeleton Skeletron and could easily pass for a follow-up to Edlund’s Lucyfire side project. But even with the band focusing on a new "positive approach to life” in their music, Edlund’s deep, droning voice and Tiamat’s slow gothic riffs are just too spooky for mainstream audiences. At times, Judas Christ echoes Anathema’s Pink Floyd influences, but you can’t take Tiamat as seriously. While some of the cheesy and gothic elements are fun, they’re overdone at times, and although the lyrics are often sarcastic or critical of society, lines like "hug me honey, snuggly bunny” detract from any claims to serious art. "Vote For Love” and "I Am In Love With Myself” are catchy and danceable goth rock tracks but the album’s a little too inconsistent and bizarre to be considered really good. "Fireflower” hints at the band’s more doomy past, but other songs sound more like ZZ Top, folky pop and even out of tune country. Then again, this album is so strange it could end up a cult classic. (Century Media)