Artist:  Tarot
   Title: Gravity Of Light
Nuclear Blast

The name of Tarot might not be known to some but the name of Marco Hietala sure is, as the bassist and composer and vocalist with Nightwish.  Hietala has the founding member if Tarot with brother Zachary back in late eighties and released several albums before Marco joined Nightwish in 2002,  Tarot became somewhat inactive during the late nineties but with several compilation albums and the bands back catalogue being reissued on the bands original label Bluelight Records their was renewed interest in the band so much so that they got back together in 2006 and were subsequently signed to Nuclear Blast records and released the album 'Crows Fly Black' and the live DVD 'Undead Indeed', now in 2010 they return with their new album 'Gravity Of Light'.

Fans of Nightwish know that Marco has a more traditional metal feel to his vocals and overall temperament and Tarot uses this might be great effect and Gravity Of Light is pure Metal all the way and from the off you know what to expect from the rest of the album.

Things get underway with 'Satin Is Dead' and instantly you're thrown into Marco's and Tarot's metal world as he punches out the vocals in his own emphatic style while pounding on the bass guitar.  But this isn't a one man band as Zachary Hietala burns up the fret board like a true metal guitar god, all the while Janne Tolsa lays down some simply sublime keyboards parts.

The band aren't shy when it comes to putting epic track together and 'Hell Knows' is one of those titanic tracks that starts from humble beginnings and builds into a cacophony of sound, with Marco at the helm.  The old school metal is still the backbone of the Tarot sound as the likes of 'Rise' and the stunning 'The Pilot Of All Dreams' shows.

This is even more so on the dark 'Magic And Technology', a huge bass and menacing drum sound are the foundation of this one, with Marco adding the extra sense of angst with some true metal vocals.

We return to a more upbeat melodic metal style with 'Calling Down The Rain', this is without a doubt my favourite track off the album so far, the great guitar lick wrapped around Marco's fine metal pipes really make this one.

The same great melodic metal from the previous track is carried on with the excellent 'Caught In The Deadlights', this one has a touch of Ozzy mixed with Judas Priest about it.  Then the whole mood of the album changes as the mellower tones of 'I Walk Forever' break the torrent of what I would call the true metal tracks.  But this is just a short reprise as its all guns blazing once more with the thumping 'Sleep In The Dark'.

The album closes in epic style with the fantastic 'Gone', again a slow builder that just oozes class and rounds off a very very good album.  This is my first taste of Tarot and I'm really impressed with what I've heard and I will be checking out their back catalogue for sure.


1. Satan Is Dead
2. Hell Knows
3. Rise!
4. Pilot Of All Dreams
5. Magic And Technology
6. Calling Down The Rain
7. Caught In The Deadlights
8. I Walk Forever
9. Sleep In The Dark
10. Gone
11. End Of Everything (bonus track)



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