Skip to main content

Tarot: The Warrior's Spell

Seventies revivalists get stuck in their recent past

Aside from their intentionally amateurish sleeve art and logo – par for the course for such scrupulously time-warped retro-rock – there are aspects of Australian crew Tarot that might raise suspicious eyebrows.

They share their name with a well-respected Finnish band of some renown in the trad metal underground since the mid-80s, and this album collects a batch of EPs originally released on cassette in 2014, suggesting Tarot needlessly stretched an LP across multiple short-form releases.

With an arsenal of ancient synth sounds, faintly doomy riffs, Deep Purplish licks and wayward pedestrian vocals, Tarot have a degree of sedate antediluvian charm, and Dying Daze is a satisfying blend of pre-NWOBHM valve abuse and medieval fantasia.

However, this concerted reversion by twentysomething musicians to an atavistic proto-metal template that far pre-dates their birth is no longer the out-of-step novelty that it was 10 years ago, and feels redundant when we can just as easily access the original, superior 70s source material.

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.