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Tagarot – Tales From Noreia Award winner

Tales From Noreia
by Joseth Radiant at 22 February 2020, 5:39 PM

Heavy Metal and History have long been compatriots and at a few points frenemies (cough-cough SABATON cough-cough). But I think that history always seems to mesh together well with Metal because, until very recently, they were both seen as niche subjects of interests confined to either academic stuffiness or nerdy isolation. It wasn’t “cool” to like either of them the way that it is now in the mainstream consciousness. While there are times in history that have seen a lot of inspiration for Heavy Metal acts to create albums about, there is still plenty of unexplored stories and subjects about history that have yet to be explored. This is simply because the story of humanity, AKA history, is vast and covers so much time. What to my surprise when TAGAROT’s "Tales From Noreia" came across my desk, and I got the delightful chance to explore the world of the Celts what the Romans called Noricum. Noricum is what is now know as the Austrian state of Carinthia, and at one point in history, its capital was Noreia. At some point around the 2nd century BC, the various tribes in the area united and became a unified nation. But as has happened multiple times in history, the glitter and the glamour of a modern society (Rome) began to erode away at the older traditions and customs. This is a fascinating moment in history, mainly because we know so little about it. We only know what the Romans wrote about Noreia as well as discovering what archaeology is telling us. This EP really encapsulates the feeling of exploring an unknown world, and that you are wandering ancient paths that have been there long before you came around and will be there long after you depart.

While TAGAROT labels itself as Folk Metal, it has very little folk instrumentation on the EP. It has more of a Death Metal feel to their sound once the band gets raging. However, they set the mood for the beginning and the end of the EP with some beautiful tin whistles and synths that have a movie soundtrack quality to them. Truthfully, once I got to the end of it, I wanted to listen to it again. That rarely happens with all of the music that comes my way, so I am impressed that they were able to create music that is compelling to listen to but makes you want to come back for more. To be honest, it would’ve been nice to have heard an entire album from these Austrians, but I get the feeling that they’ve said more than enough with this EP. Also, credit has to be given for the album artwork. The fantastic and creative minds of Sandra and Julian Brockmeier combine captivating photography along with artwork that looks as if it’s been around for thousands of years. The artwork actually complements the music and gives it a sense of brevity that is rare to achieve.

I can’t find something wrong with this EP, it is really a pleasant experience from start to finish. There are moments that reminds me of the wildness of CRUACHAN in their earlier days, but none of it gets in the way of a really well performed EP. I do wish we could’ve had an album from TAGAROT, but I enjoy listening to these tracks again and again so much that the length of it does not deter me from enjoying it. Throughout the EP, there’s an overall sense that the music and the lyrics have roots that run incredibly deep and these roots are determined neither to wither nor to fade away. The more we can support these wonderful people, the more music we will hear from them, and the Heavy Metal community would be better for it. And yes, as always, BUY THIS ALBUM!!!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. A Warrior’s Tale
3. The Mountain God
4. Forgotten Under Limestones
5. Outro
Julian Brockmeier – All instruments & lyrics
Phil Zeo – Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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