Tarot – “Follow Me Into Madness” (1988)

Tarot!  This Finnish band is still around in 2012, having retained all but one of their original members throughout the years.  That’s really quite a testimony to the band’s perseverance, eh?  Well, way back in 1988 Tarot released their second album Follow Me Into Madness (Flamingo Records), and GOD DAMN this album smokes!  Sometimes brooding, other times jacked up on speed, Follow Me Into Madness pretty much embodies everything I could want in an ’80s metal album.  The songs are melodic yet heavy, technically impressive yet ultra-accessible, with incredible vocals and sing along choruses.  Descendents Of Power opens the album with high energy and a fast tempo, a perfect song to whet the appetite for some METAL.  This song is followed by Rose On The Grave, a slow pounder showing off Tarot’s versatility.  After two songs, it seems promising that we are in store for a well-rounded album.  Happily, this is indeed the case.  Check out Follow Me Into Madness, a slow burner that stirs a bubbly cauldron of evil, or the driving hard rock of No Return.  My personal favorite cut is the album’s second-to-last track, the wicked I Spit Venom.  When all has been said and done, I’m having a hard time finding a band to compare with Tarot.  Usually I can throw around a band like Accept, Priest, or Maiden as a point of reference, but I don’t think I can really do that here.  I guess that’s a great compliment!  Oh well, there’s only one thing left to do… PLAY IT LOUD!  My score: A

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