Tiamat Amanethes

The latest addition to the Tiamat catalogue could be a chronicle of Johan Edlund’s mood swinging musical tastes. Rawer and less kitschy than usual, at least a little, Amanethes is laidback and dark but without calculation, ambling along with casual abandon. Characterised by Edlund’s mostly gravelly vocals this time around, this latest version of Tiamat wander through several gradations of goth rock, from the sing-able to the black metal-influenced, the doomy, the industrialised and even a plaintive synth-string backed number reminiscent of Opeth’s Damnation experiment. At times, Tiamat seem to be channelling a mid- to late ’90s version of fellow Swedes Cemetary, at others they’re dipping into Latin guitar or bluesy rock. At 14 tracks, Amanethes feels far too long, like a doped-up jam session gone out of control, and if it wasn’t for the late appearance of "Via Dolorosa,” one of the record’s more memorable moments, you might as well stop about halfway through. Tiamat’s refusal to stay boxed in accounts for a large part of the band’s charm, but this time they’ve carried self-indulgence too far and will inevitably lose some ears along the way. (Nuclear Blast)