Tarot is a melodic metal band from Finland founded by the Hietala brothers (Marco & Zachary) in the mid eighties.
The band used to play a kind of metal/death metal and didn't get much attention in the Netherlands, until the musical directions changed a bit and especially after Marco joined Nightwish in 2002.
Along the way Tarot's music gained accessibility and got more melodic.
The addition of keyboardist Janne Tolsa is for prog(metal) fans definitely an improvement.
The lead vocals are divided between Tommi Salmela and Marco Hietala.
The band performed in the Netherlands to promote their eighth album Gravity Of Light.
Man Eating Tree
Before Tarot took the stage there was another Finnish band on stage, four guys and a young lady playing keyboards: Heidi Määttä, however her role proved to be of no real significance.
The composer in the band is guitarist Janne Markus, who on stage seems to be content with a very modest 'low profile'.
Both drummer Vesa Ranta and bass player Mikko Uusimaa played tight but there were hardly any interactions with the audience and also little evidence of being superb musicians,
although they are the founders of this band.
Tragedy struck when the man who was planned to be the guitarist of the band, Miika Tenkula , (just like Vesa ex-Sentenced) suddenly was found dead on February 19th of 2009.
As a tribute to him the band played a kind of metal version of Nights In White Satin (Moody Blues).
The main attraction is front man Tuomas Tuominen who managed to win the crowd fairly easily.
The music of this band, strangely named Man Eating Tree, is a more powerful version of Anathema.
No dazzling solo's but quite atmospheric and focused on melodies and Tuominen's rather powerful voice.
This band recently released their first album Vine, in my perception a fairly enjoyable debut worth checking out.
As usual with support acts a rather dark stage with minimal light effects, but fortunately the music as well as the sound were okay.
In my opinion the music from this band could be outstanding if the band uses their talents well and focuses on atmospheric symphonic metal and should try to stay away from scoring hits.
Having said that, I know Out Of The Wind has been a successful single in Finland but I'd rather see them play their own music than focus on getting the crowd to clap their hands.
Setlist Man Eating Tree
Lathing A New Man
King Of July
Out Of The Wind
Of Birth For Passing
Instead Of Sand
Nights In White Satin
Then the main act Tarot.
Obviously the band is very experienced and because of the break Nightwish took after their last extensive tour in 2009, Marco seized the opportunity to travel through Europe with his own band.
Of course quite a few songs from the new album,
five to be precise and a song like Satan Is Dead is a superb song to play live and Marco had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate his tremendous powerful singing.
Four of the other songs were from the album before Gravity Of Light: Crows Fly Back and the remaining four were from the albums Suffer Our Pleasures (2003) and Glory For Nothing (1998).
Drummer Pecu Cinnari, looking a bit like Stevie Ray Vaughan, is a power-drummer, so it was concrete all the way and little room for subtleties.
Janne Tolsa's role was mainly to provide keyboard layers, orchestrations and except one solo he never caught the spotlights.
Marco's brother Zachary, just like Pecu and Tommi, with pretty good filled bellies (my guess is beer or even stronger Finnish stuff), played his guitars mainly focused on speed,
not melodies which is a pity.
His technique seemed more than sufficient to be able to play in a more melodic style as well.
Of course Marco's Warwick bass ruled and he was the man in the spotlights, the star of the show.
Although Salmela's voice is also pretty good he couldn't compete against the bass player of a world renowned band like Nightwish, but nevertheless,
his performance and his interactions with the crowd were very nice.
Salmela handled the 'samples' on stage, especially when Marco sang.
Altogether most songs sounded more powerful, more energetic live and certainly the songs from the last album did very well.
Just one step more to the melodic realm of heavy 'prog-metal' and their next release will surely be worth considering to be reviewed by DPRP!
This gig, performed for a crowd of approximately 300 people, went smoothly and certainly because the support act was also worthwhile to watch, this was an evening well spent.
Sleep In The Dark
I Walk Forever
Satan Is Dead
Crows Fly Back
Calling Down The Rain
Veteran Of Psychic Wars
Pyre Of Gods
Rider Of The Last Day