Tarot, by U.S. metal band Æther Realm, is one of the most recent surprises in metal. The band, which plays an interesting fusion of melodic death metal, folk and heavy metal, with the second release eventually managed to define an own and unique style, something that’s not easy to achieve in a kind of music that’s so strongly influenced by a few major and relevant groups such as Ensiferum and Wintersun.
What’s really good in this disc is the quality of the guitar riffs. In most of the times the guitars operate in background to support and amplify the melodic soundscapes that are created with keyboards and vocals, but at other times they break the melodiy with furious rhythms and fierce guitar rides.
The album is also characterized by a combination of clean vocals with growls and screams and the balance between these two styles is excellent and gives another positive element to most of the songs.
The distance between Æther Realm’s two full-length releases may have been a time-consuming trip, but it is time that the group have clearly taken advantage of, forging and smithing each of Tarot’s songs into battle-worthy weapons. The band have leaped past the initial fascination of a group out of North Carolina being able to create so well a sound that we usually associate with Scandinavian regions, vaulting into an area where they’ve been able to mature their sound enough that Æther Realm have really now become their own thing. (No Clean Singing)