Originally published in ‘zine issue #4, 1992
Tiamat The Astral Sleep
(Century Media Records)
One of the hardest things for a band to do is inject atmosphere in an album. Sweden’s Tiamat has brought a true dark feeling to its second release, The Astral Sleep. Instead of taking the easy way out and going to Sunlight Studios, Tiamat went to Germany to get away from the Swedish sound that’s becoming so popular. The production of the album is excellent, and with the use of keyboards, acoustic guitars, and dark fantasy lyrics, Tiamat has produced an album drenched in atmosphere. I can hear traces of Mercyful Fate and other old black metal bands in its sound, but Tiamat ain’t just reliving the old days. This band is very original and brings its own unique style to the rapidly growing death metal scene. This band is not about brutality but about thoughtful songwriting and performance. This is one of my favorite albums from a band that’s not afraid to stick to its beliefs to do something different than everybody else.
(by Mike Smith) ■