Tarot - The Warrior’s Spell (Heavy Chains, 2015)
After the promising tape EPs, here is the Tasmanian obscure rocker TAROT’s debut full-length.
The album starts with The Watcher’s Dream’s enchanting acoustic guitars and flute, reminding of rock and prog giants like LED ZEPPELIN and JETHRO TULL. A shroud of mystery veils these compositions, magical notes are coming out of the instruments, taking us on a bewitched journey. A passage into the old days of rock, without the ‘roll’ part. No catchy rock’n’roll riff-work here, but dreamlike songs for rainy weekends. “Twilight Fortress” has a bit of heavy metal, proto-doom metal feeling, think of the early PAGAN ALTAR recordings, the same epic, ancient rock/metal feeling with a taste for fantasy. “The Wasp” follows on the same path of obscure slow, almost heavy metal, and I say “almost” because the guitar isn’t the most important instrument here, because church organs, flutes, keys are the dominant tools in TAROT’s spellbinding music. “Eyes in the Sky” has the charmed attack of early SCORPIONS, before they gone to FM radio stadium rock. Here the guitars gets more space, bringing melodic solos in the old school way.
The vocals are mostly chant-like wails, not really the 70s rock singer’s style, but more dreamy and hypnotic like the whole music. Don’t expect exploding refrains, the vocals are more like a garnish to the tunes, building the ceremonial feeling to the record. The title-track “The Warrior’s Spell” is again a piece of epic proto-heavy metal, it’s like it would have been written in ‘70s, even carrying a slice of early JUDAS PRIEST outbreak, think of the Gods’ 1976 album. But when you almost call them heavy metal, than it’s when the band is unpredictably comes with a progressive rock twist, and when you are to put them into the early 70s British prog tag, they will come with a heavy guitar attack in style of RAINBOW!
“Leaving this Place” with its delightful melodies and ceremonial organs is one of the best tunes on this album, but generally all songs have the same distinctive visionary feeling. It’s not an album with a few good themes and a few forgettable songs, it’s more a collection of enchanting sounds crafted into one mesmerizing journey.
“The Warrior’s Spell” is already one of the delicacies of 2015. A unique mix of progressive rock, classic rock and early heavy metal, not many bands can craft. Available on CD format, 12 songs, 60 minutes of voyage into a mystical land, a fantastic album cover, a poster and a personalized manuscript for each customer containing the lyrics. A worthy investment for true music lovers.