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Tiamat > Cain > Reviews > lukretion
Tiamat - Cain

Not sure I'd buy the full-length based on this single - 67%

lukretion, June 9th, 2022
Written based on this version: 2003, CD, Century Media Records (Digipak)

Released in 2003 to launch Tiamat’s new full-length album Prey, Cain is a single containing three songs. Two are taken from the forthcoming LP (“Cain” and “Love in Chains”). The version of “Cain” included here is actually radio-edited and is about 90 seconds shorter than the version that will appear on the full-length (you can easily spot where it was cut as soon as you hear the horrible fade out that obliterates away Thomas Petersson’s solo at the end of the track). The third song on the disc is a cover of WASP’s “Sleeping (In the Fire)” that you can also find on some reissues of Prey. I have mainly two criteria to evaluate singles: 1) whether the record gets me excited about the full-length album, and 2) whether it contains any interesting non-album material that is not readily available elsewhere. Cain does not disappoint in either dimension, but it also does not get full marks.

Not having yet listened to Prey, the two album tracks got me moderately intrigued about it. Tiamat seem to have taken a darker course on this one. “Cain” is at the intersection between doom and gothic metal. Its verse is built around a particularly foreboding melody, that is only partially resolved in a brighter and catchier chorus. All in all, this is a good song that is catchy without being cheesy, and explores an interesting, dark mood. I cannot say the same about the other track taken from Prey, “Love in Chains”, where Tiamat took a page from the book of The 69 Eyes to write a fairly plain and run-of-the-mill goth rock number that chugs away without leaving any lasting impression on me. I actually like the Finnish band, but it is disappointing to see Tiamat, who have been among the forerunners of the gothic metal scene, lose their unique sound to churn out vanilla goth rock tunes instead.

Coming to the “non-album” track, I am not overly excited about it, either. Don’t get me wrong, I love WASP’s version of this song. It’s an awesome power ballad that Blackie Lawless literally rips apart with his incredibly emotive vocal performance. And that’s where the problem lies for Tiamat’s cover version. Edlund’s sedate voice simply cannot provide the emotional oomph that this simple song would need to leave its mark. He simply sucks the life out of the song, which makes for an interesting, but emotionally sterile listening experience.

Overall, Cain leaves me with a mixture of curiosity and apprehension about the full-length album the single is supposed to advertise. I am not sure that is a good thing. Would I buy Prey, based on these songs alone? Probably, but that’s because I am already a Tiamat fan. If I hadn’t already been into the band, I am less sure that this single would convince me to check them out. And that cannot possibly be a good thing.