Metal during the 90’s was going through a lot of changes. Extreme genres gained a serious following, NWOBHM was on the decline and the once glorious US Metal scene was struggling against the grunge uprise. Quite a game, huh?
The 90’s were also the era that at all these new Power / Progressive metal bands broke into the scene with masterpieces such as this one. It was the decade that bands like SYMPHONY X, CONCEPTION, KAMELOT and PSYCHOTIC WALTZ left their footprint on the metal scene for years to come. And as you may have guessed from the title, so did TAD MOROSE with albums like “A Mended Rhyme” and “Sender of Thoughts”.
In twenty-five years things have changed a lot for TAD MOROSE as the band has drifted away from its Progressive roots. Over the years, their music grew darker and more aggressive, and releases like “Undead” or “Modus Vivendi” serve as a great example to this. “Chapter X” follows the same path, but is it any good?
The fist thing I realised when “Chapter X” was announced, was the excitement of fans all over the internet. People were so pumped for a new TAD MOROSE release and that alone set the bar pretty high. Soon after, the single “Apocalypse” was released and we got an idea of how the new album would sound like. Everything in that song “screamed” TAD MOROSE. Edgy guitars, high pitched vocals, progressive-flavoured parts, etc. However, I wasn’t hooked and that put me in an awkward spot as the music wasn’t bad. The bad thing is that I kept feeling the same way as I progressed through the album.
Killer riffs, ultra heavy rhythm section, speedy grooves, dark soundscapes and screaming vocals, just weren’t enough to take things to the next level for me. Crazy, huh? Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some great moments, especially on the second half of the album (“Vaunt the Cynical”, “Yet You Still Preach”, “I Am Night” & “Nemesis”), but for the most part I found it difficult to follow through. I’ve been listening to the album for quite some time now in the hope to find something that would make me reconsider, but I don’t see this happening any time soon. It feels like the band should have paid more attention in what goes in the album, as fourteen tracks are way too many and some of the them could have been skipped. Hour-long albums are great (for the most part), but in this case 1h04m doesn’t add much value.
“Chapter X” is not a balanced album and it kida fell short of my expectations. The ingredients are there, however the band needs to find the way to work its magic in order to deliver monumental albums like in the past. Given this is a TAD MOROSE album, it’s worth checking out even if it’s for the half of the songs on the album. Grab it if you like: MEMENTO MORI, MORGANA LEFAY, THERION – “Live Gothic”, MAJOR DENIAL.