Tad Morose: St Demonius

Swedish veterans fly the flag for honourable tradition

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Celebrating metal’s diversity is all well and good, but is there anything more reliably thrilling than the sound of a balls-out heavy metal band nailing the basics?

Tad Morose have been tirelessly propagating their heroically heavy take on the traditional metal formula since the early 90s, but despite a largely flawless catalogue they’ve never really received due recognition.

Occupying similar territory to Iced Earth, but with a dash of classic doom replacing the thrash, St. Demonius is a commanding collection of songs.

Vocalist Ronny Hemlin’s second album with the Swedes proves to be his finest hour, with a powerhouse performance that reaffirms the notion that clean singing is desirable when the man responsible sounds like, well, an actual man. Songs like Bow To The Reaper’s Blade and Remain strike a refined balance between contemporary crunch and melodic heft worthy of Tony Martin-era Sabbath, but Tad Morose have a distinct identity that makes this much more than just a skilled retread. In these safe hands, so-called old school values are free to revel in fresh vitality.