Tiamat - Wildhoney (1994)Release ID: 881
An album that leaves me with very mixed feelings. Halfway innovative masterpiece, halfway boring directionless filler. Wildhoney is considered to be Tiamat’s best release, as well as the one where they found their signature Gothic sound. It’s aesthetically unique and many steps ahead of the game, leaving a lasting impression on the Gothic Metal world. But can it back up that legacy?
Calling Wildhoney “Gothic Metal” is only correct because it’s the closest thing to a unifying sound found here. Less than half the runtime is Metal – the rest is a mix of Ambient, Darkwave, Rock, and Psychedelia. And therein lies the verdict. You see, the Metal here is great – particularly the doomier stuff, like Visionare. This track mixes some crushing Death Doom melancholia with the prettier and more ethereal Gothic Metal pretty much invented on this album. A great track, and the other Metal tracks aren’t far behind.
The weakness lies in everything else. Nothing against those other genres of music, but none of the songs are done particularly well. The album doesn’t sound like a super creative mix of many styles; rather, it sounds like a few great Gothic Metal tracks and then a bunch of filler stuff that was easy to put together to fill out the runtime. None of the ambient or darkwave stuff is memorable, and the last track which is an odd combo of Psychedelic Rock, Ethereal Wave and Folk doesn’t have nearly enough going on to justify an over 8-minute runtime. This album was an important piece of art in Metal history, but offers much less than its legacy might imply.
Gothic Metal (conventional)
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