TAROT - The Warrior's Spell

Tarot - The Warrior's Spell

14 songs
69:67 minutes
***** ***


Tarot is a project by Australian artist The Hermit who is also active under different names in other bands, most notably as Ol' Rusty Vintage Wizard Master in doom metal band The Wizar’d. Tarot is a vintage hard rock trio with The Hermit in charge of vocals, guitars and keyboards, and the two other musicians playing bass and drums.

Unlike The Wizar’d which is a guitar driven doom metal band, the songs for Tarot have apparently been composed on the Hammond organ, which is an important sound element, just like many other vintage synthesizers and mellotrons that found their way into the music. The Warrior’s Spell is a vinyl compilation comprising the band’s three EPs from last year, two brand new songs plus an earlier two song demo, giving you not only seventy minutes of finest retro rock but also saving you the trouble of having to get all of the band’s previous records, which I guess must be quite hard to find.

The Hermit may not even be thirty years old, but his inspirations come from a time when he wasn’t even born yet. It’s most the early to mid-Seventies that have left their traces, with Uriah Heep possibly being the most important one, although there are also shades of Rainbow and Deep Purple. There are a few occasional proto doom moment, but they are more Black Widow than Black Sabbath.

What I like about The Warrior’s Spell is the casualness with which these artists are recording their songs. There is always a somewhat laid back atmosphere underneath it all. Hard rock is an element the band uses, but more to create something darkly occult than to create something aggressive. The production sounds also very vintage, maybe even a little too much so at times. A somewhat clearer sound, which by the way was also already possible in 1974 for instance, would have yielded a more intense listening experience. Especially the drums sound sometimes as if they are coming from somewhere far away.

Apart from that little flaw, The Warrior’s Spell is a spotless and complete compilation of a very promising young band from down under. A first longplayer is in the making and should soon be available. Definitely looking forward to that one too.

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