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Tiamat

Over the course of the 1990s, Sweden's Tiamat evolved from a typical death metal outfit into one of the leading lights in "symphonic" black metal. A variation that aimed to keep all of death metal's darkness intact, symphonic black metal portrayed that darkness it in a moodier, atmospheric manner, often making synthesizer arrangements just as important as guitar riffs and utilizing a deliberate, Gothic feel. The one constant throughout Tiamat's history has been the presence of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Johan Edlund, originally known as Hellslaughter in the band's early days. Tiamat grew out of a splatter-metal band called Treblinka, which was formed in 1988 and released two demos (Crawling in Vomits and Sign of the Pentagram) that helped secure a deal with England's CMFT label. Electing to change their name to Tiamat (an ancient Middle Eastern goddess of chaos and a five-headed dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game), the group released their debut album, Sumerian Cry, in 1990, with a lineup of Edlund, bassist Jorgen "Juck" Thullberg, and session musicians Stefan "Emetic" Lagergren (guitar) and Andres "Najse" Holmberg. Dissatisfied with the album's distribution, Tiamat jumped to the Century Media label and completed their official lineup with guitarist Thomas Petersson and drummer Niklas Ekstrand.

The band worked with producer Waldemar Sorychta and engineer Siggi Bemm on their Century Media debut, 1991's The Astral Sleep. The album displayed substantial musical growth, blending aggressive death metal with ponderous goth metal and more atmospheric, restrained passages courtesy of session keyboardist Jonas Malmsten. The follow-up, 1993's Clouds, expanded on the latter aspect of the group's music in particular, throwing acoustic guitars into the mix; the lineup on Clouds was revamped, with the addition of full-time keyboardist Kenneth Roos and bassist Johnny Hagel replacing Thullberg. Following the 1994 tour EP The Sleeping Beauty: Live in Israel, Edlund fired the remainder of the band, save for Hagel, due to dissatisfaction with the group's musical progress. With session musicians Magnus Sahlgren (guitar) and Lars Sköld (drums) in tow, as well as producer Sorychta manning the keyboards, Tiamat began work on the epic Wildhoney in 1994. Released later that year, Wildhoney became the group's artistic and commercial breakthrough, fully realizing the sound hinted at on previous releases and eliciting effusive praise in metal circles for its brooding, Gothic atmospherics. The sound was often described as death metal meeting Pink Floyd, a connection made explicit with a cover of that band's "When You're In" on 1995's Gaia EP, which otherwise featured four remixes/edits of Wildhoney cuts. Following the supporting tour, Edlund moved permanently to Dortmund, Germany, where most of the band's albums had been recorded; he also changed the group's focus, turning Tiamat into more of a personal mouthpiece and studio creation and declaring himself the only official member.

Sköld remained as the band's session drummer, with Petersson returning as session guitarist; Hagel left to join Cemetary, which quickly morphed into Sundown, and Cemetary/Sundown bassist Anders Iwers switched over to Tiamat. 1997's A Deeper Kind of Slumber was conceived on Edlund's home studio and produced by Dirk Draeger (Morgoth); it found Edlund moving into largely electronic territory and addressing more personal subject matter. Skeleton Skeleton followed in 1999, and divided their audience with it's new approach. Where previous efforts had hinted at their goth tendencies, this album proudly displayed the deep vocals and shimmering guitars that are often associated with the genre. Still, a few crushing songs maintained their original sound and many were curious about their next step. 2002's Judas Christ cemented their change into a goth rock band, doing away with all but a few minor elements of heavy metal and offering an album that was based in the Nosferatu/Sisters of Mercy school of songwriting. Recorded at Copenhagen's Puk Recording Studio, the album also displayed an affirming and positive message, something the band had never really shown on any previous releases. Prey followed in 2003 and marked the band's final effort for Century Media Records; they jumped ship several years later, ultimately signing with Nuclear Blast Records before issuing Amanethes in 2008. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

a truly amazing cd...now if they would just tour the US
this song is beautiful and it makes me have thoughts of suicide
piano_elegy
first comment on pandora...ju s t for this song....just beautiful...
If you don't already own all their CD's, get on it! They have a disc for every mood, from black metal to industrial goth. Highly creative band.
My favorite Tiamat song would have to be the sleeping beauty. I do enjoy their newer stuff to.
good stuff..old guys like metal too
Love this band, Wildhoney and A deeper kind of slumber are two of the best albums ever made.
the church of tiamat live concert dvd is flawless... if you like tiamat, do yourself a favor and BUY IT!!!
birch_deepwo o d
Tiamat does have some good toomy dark music!
Wildhoney is kind of the last album in their transition from black metal to their current sound. A Deeper Kind of Slumber has some of the black metal themes in it, but really starts to move in the new direction. Skeleton Skeletron is definitely more along the newer sound.

I don't know that I would call it Goth Metal strictly speaking, but it is heavily influenced by the Gothic sound, as well as some elements of blues and classic country western.
Beautiful song sung so well.
Ah, yes, a new old favorite!
This rocks, just what I needed today
I love their cover of "Sympathy for the Devil."
Pretty damn good band, I'd love to see them and Funeral tour together. It'd kick a**.
it took a while before The 69 Eyes grew on me, but I like them! ^_^

I'm still debating this band, however, i have found some songs to enjoy.
I like the 69 eyes as they are classic, but Tiamat has an epic feel to it that dwarfs all.
I added them to my Moonspell station, and completely took over. I removed them from the artist seed list, but I continue to listen to the Tiamat songs that play.
they're a decent band. "Wings of Heaven" and "Raining Dead Angels" are really good songs.
this song starts out cool but just gets boring halfway through. they dont change key at all and guitar harmonies are really bad. the one riff is pretty much looped through the whole song
amadeus_anto n i n
omg. i mistaked it for 69 eyes, wtf????
Well put, Punk Guy. I wouldn't have said it quite like that, but it's good that you did, LOL!
Tiamat is really one of the greats, them and Emperor. And Willow, some of us don't care about generic metal that is consumed en masse by the emotionally retarded people who live in the mainstream. Godsmack could never measure up to any Gothic metal band, mainly because Godsmack keeps circling the same drain, like a lump of pubic hair.
Goth-Ann! Good to hear from you again! It's been a while.
How about 'molten lead'? This is pretty strong stuff!
Winter kill, you forgot "Metal Metal." Just kidding.
They have a more mellow and subtle sound than Type-O-Negat i v e , but the progressive elements are certainly there. On the whole, I like Tiamat better. Lord Tristan is a conceited prick. Obviously he is above granting us an explanation or reasoning for his brash remarks. Much in the manner of some others I will not name. Every style this music fits is classified as metal:
* Death Metal / Black Metal * Heavy Metal * Scandinavian Metal * Symphonic Black Metal * Progressive Metal * Goth Metal
You know, the last person who proclaimed himself "lord" on this planet was crucified.
erno8
Lord Tristan you must admit that you can't get much more original than a Goth Hippie. Peace Man, like rest in...
If you really think this band is lame you obviously haven't given them a chance.
tristanhi88
this s**t is gay and not metal what a bunch ov lame sounding hippie crap
I get bored easily.
Some of their songs drone on and on (kinda like some of Type O Negative's) but on the whole they're really good. I really must get more of their CD's.
How have I missed this band? Good stuff!
Reminds me of Type O negative
Much better than others who try to do the same thing.
Thank you, pandora83290 ! Pandora listeners rock!
Female singer on "Carry your cross" is Sonja Brandt according to album credits. I haven't found any other work by her.
Well put, erno8; Tiamat's unique music and vocals express what I can in no way dredge up even the slightest inkling of how to get out of me. I confess I'm at a loss for words; that doesn't happen often, not to me.
erno8
Of all the destroyed worlds O Tiamat you resonate still the finest dirge.
Awesome, awesome, awesome.
who is the female singer that sings with john on "carry your cross and ill carry mine"????

absolutely freaking fantastic song......
Ooh, 'Sleeping Beauty'!!!!! ! !
Uh, yeah, I guess that's it in a nutshell, Angel of Anarchy. But sometimes you just hear a perfect song. The contrast of the voices, alone, is awesome.
Succinctly put, fdpugh. Black Swan, try 'Carry Your Cross and I'll Carry Mine,' for musically it's as perfect a song as you can get from Tiamat.
Really starting to like Tiamat!! Must hear more!!
still trying this band out, but I do like the dark, symphonic feel the music has.
These guys have a unusual and catchy sound. I like the symphonic change up, and the lyrics are strange but intriguing - but it takes a little while to grow on you.
Thanks. I do try. (Indeed, sometimes I'm VERY trying.)
"Extinction metal" I like it! Skeleton, Skeletron, Judas Christ and Prey are really good CD's.
I think death metal is not a strong enough appellation for this: I think it should be extinction metal, or something like that . . .
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