Tarot – Gravity of Light (Nuclear Blast Records)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

Nothing elevates the profile of a group faster than when its main member joins a worldwide gothic/ symphonic success story such as bassist/vocalist Marco Hietala did in 2002 with Nightwish. As a result of their high profile sales and touring regiment, Tarot studio releases happen in three-to-four-year time frames. Their eighth album Gravity of Light rolls out 11 more tracks of Rainbow-inspired power metal, emphasizing enticing vocal melodies and comfortable confidence that comes from a veteran group of musicians.

The record kicks off with the spirited “Satan Is Dead,” a punchy number that features eerie multi-tracked background vocals and a dynamic doom bridge which allows keyboardist Janne Tolsa a chance to throw down some 70’s style organ action. Follow-up “Hell Knows” rumbles at a Dio-like epic pace, with drummer Pecu Cinnari keeping the back beat heavy with the best Cozy Powell/ Vinny Appice snare and crash cymbal montage.

Over the course of the album Tarot deftly move from speedier material like “Rise!” and “Sleep in the Dark” back to slower, doom pastures such as “Magic and Technology” or the seven minute plus ballad “Gone” where Marco gives his most impassioned vocal delivery- Graham Bonnet would be proud of this performance.

The older generation of hard rock and metal followers will probably find more to sink their teeth into with Gravity of Light – these gentlemen just focus on the songwriting without technical flash and dash or loads of effects. Astral Doors excels at the style, with Tarot closely following in terms of versatility and timelessness.

www.myspace.com/tarot

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)