Tarot (from Australia) have a collection of previously released songs on offer in the form of ‘The Warrior’s Spell’. Originally released by Heavy Chains records earlier this year, a vinyl release will follow from Van records. A lot of these tracks will of course be familiar to Tarot fans, having previously been available in small quantities in cassette, band camp and other sources. This is a one stop shop for the Tarot catalogue to date.
What you have is 70’s prog, psychedelic rock and a lot of organ included. The easiest most relevant comparisons would give a shout out to Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and some of Led Zeppelin’s more experimental releases later in their career, hell, even a lighter Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats might also find their way into the mix. You may want to be in a particularly relaxed state also for this one, whilst I do think this is great music, some of the tempos don’t vary enough at the beginning of the release and in places the tracks sound laboured.
‘The Wasp’ takes some real Uriah Heep inspiration, although keeps rather low key in terms of the vocal delivery, a similar pattern on this entire compilation. Although the trippy ‘Mystic Cavern’ is rather special as is the title track ‘The Warrior’s Spell’ (one of the two new tracks) and the more vibrant Pagan Altar inspired ‘Dying Daze’. ‘Take A Look Around’ has a load of energy with an upbeat tempo coming in as a breath of fresh air, although critically I would like the vocals to have more of a higher register drive akin to classic 70’s rock that had some big characters on vocals. One saving grace is that Tarot add many harrowing organ solos that just feel right with a perfect level of vintage presented.
If you check out the chronological order of when the tracks were released (they are not in chronological order on this compilation I might add!), there is clear progression and more urgency from The Hermit (check out his other band Dracula!), The Hierophant and The Magician; the earlier material often sounds laboured, but picks up in different places to be fair. But in short, ‘The Warrior’s Spell’ as a package, is definitely worth it compared to tracking down the original releases.
(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)