Tiamat - _Prey_
(Century Media, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
It's been a long and often winding road for Johan Edlund since Tiamat released _Sumerian Cry_ and _The Astral Sleep_ over a decade ago. Celebrated and renowned for his eagerness to experiment -- and ability to pull it off virtually every time -- Edlund created what was arguably his coup de grace with 1994's _Wildhoney_, and while 1997's _A Deeper Kind of Slumber_ came close to realising its ancestor's potential, neither the following _Skeleton Skeletron_ nor _Judas Christ_ efforts were even close to making good on the promise of earlier material. _Prey_ is an immediately different proposition however: more melancholic and pensive than _Judas Christ_, it opens up superbly with "Cain" and "Wings of Heaven" -- two songs which bear a passing resemblance to recent Green Carnation or even Type O Negative numbers. Unfortunately it is soon after this that things go slightly pear-shaped, as "Love in Chains" and "Divided" are almost uncharacteristically unambitious and predictable. The hypnotic strains of "Light in Extension" very quickly put things back on track again however, and from there on out, Edlund peels out what could only be described as some of his most awe-inspiring work to date, culminating in the swirling jazz-groove of "The Pentagram". Perhaps more so than ever, _Prey_ is a many layered affair, and one that increasingly rewards the listener with each repeated airing. It's most definitely not of the same calibre as the flawless elegance of _Wildhoney_, but it nonetheless remains a mesmerising album that will most certainly draw one to it again and again.
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