Texan rockers with the hideously long name are back with more rocky goodness…
..And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead
AYWKUBTOTD make about as much sense as their acronym. but that’s exactly what we have come to know and love about these epic rockers. The title of the opening song says alot about whats to come Introduction “Lets’s Experiment”, itself a meandering build up with no grand rock-out moment, leaves only more desire to listen on.
The fireworks do soon arrive in the shape of the uptempo driving rock numbers Pure Radio Cosplay & Summer Of All Dead Souls, both combining a loud/soft ethos with synth melodies and hard hitting guitars. The main issue I have with Tao of the Dead is that for every moment of euphoric rock bliss, there is an awful long time spent in melancholy enroute to arriving them.
Cover the Days Like A Tidal Wave comes in with a mere 2:07 mins before blast off, with Fall Of The Empire and Spiral Jetty being entirely engulfed by these gentle moods. Despite this, the comparitavely short tracks maintain interest with their ever morphing spectrum of sounds.
Towards the end of the album Weight of The Sun and The Fairlight Pendant bring back some level of volume equilibrium, upping the stakes once more with some epicly huge riffs. The greatest suprise of this album is in the extented prog leviathon, 16 minute album closer Strange News From Another Planet, which is an ever changing melody machine of nonsense, thats totally addictive!
Tao of the Dead is an impressive album of genre bending rock, which both dazzles and wanders in equal measure.
Mr Flowers Says:
The album itself starts with a 2 minute instrumental, only briefly interrupted by the voice of Conrad Keeley suggesting to the band,
It might have been obvious that Trail of Dead were about to turn up that dial marked “Prog”.
Against that expectation though the first song proper, Pure Radio Cosplay, is actually more like a classic Rolling Stones rock song, or even something Primal Scream or Oasis might have done in the ’90s. The progressive stylings start bleeding through as the album continues: Cover The Days Like A Tidal Wave starts with an almost whispered spoken 2 minute intro until it explodes into a massive rock riff for its final seconds.
There are a few missteps on the album, such as Spiral Jetty which sounds like it’s the intro to another Trail of Dead rock out which unfortunately never starts. Lucky that it’s followed by Weight of the Sun then; a set of swaying verses that burst into a rousing chorus of shouts, guitars and drums, a slow-fast mechanic that’s emulated by the similarly great Ebb Away.
The Fairlight Pendant gives us one the more progressive songs on the record which sadly lacks any of the hooks of the other songs that make the long pretentious prog bits bearable, but it seems they were all saved for the album’s coup de grâce – the 16 minute behemoth that is Strange News From Another Planet. It’s almost like 5 songs in one which all flow into each other seamlessly. Each act alternately serving up rock songs, slowed-down melodic anthems, prog outs until we’re given one final burst of energy to finish the album where it started. It pretty much sums up the sound of Tao of the Dead – epic.
DoesItRock Overall Score: 7.5/10
Listen to And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Tao Of The Dead now on Spotify!