KB, Malmö - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Tiamat isn’t exactly a regularly touring band at this time and age, so when they announced a Swedish mini-tour, starting in Malmö, we were all over it.
It turned out the tour would be even more special than first anticipated, as they announced that the setlist would consist of the old albums Clouds and Wildhoney. We were in for quite a ride, it would seem!

“You look great! (you too!) Yeah, well, we wear make-up. We’re really old!”
- Johan Edlund (vocals)

I was a bit surprised to see the line-up in the band as they walked on stage. Johan Edlund wasn’t playing guitar for one thing, so they were a lot of people vying for space on the mid-sized stage. Roger Örjesson (guitar) and Lars Sköld (drums) were with him, but there was no Anders Iwers. Instead, we saw a very familiar face behind the bass - Gustaf Hielm. Recently, as in only a couple of days before, returned from touring with Pain Of Salvation in South America, he looked surprisingly spry and well-coordinated with the rest of the band. On the second guitar we saw former member Thomas Wyreson (previously Petersson), on keyboard was Jonas Öijvall, and finally they had what seemed to be their stagehand (I didn’t catch the name), helping out on growling vocals in The Sleeping Beauty and a few more. As I said, slightly crowded. Having the extra vocals were a welcome addition though, as the guy both sang and performed well, almost upstaging Hedlund.

The set, not surprisingly, opened with In A Dream, the opener of Clouds, which in turn is the older of the two albums. As it turned out though, I had misunderstood the announcement prior to the tour - having a setlist consisting of Clouds and Wildhoney was apparently not equivalent to the band playing the albums in their entirety. There was a good selection of songs from both albums though, and the songs of the two albums were played separately to each other.
In addition to this, they also had some encore songs readied for us - two from Prey (which is my favourite Tiamat album at the time, so horns up for that!), and one from Judas Christ (aw yeah). Because, as Hedlund said; “It’s voting year, and we’ve cast our vote.” (let’s play guess the song)
And again, we can’t thank the band enough for using real vocals instead of taped ones. Here I’m thinking about letting Örjesson take the female sung parts of Divided - no matter what you think of the change, live is best served live.

As you’d imagined, the crowd had grown as soon as it was time for the main event of the evening, but still KB was far from sold out. It surprises me how a class-act like Tiamat can’t pull a full house in a venue like this, even if it is a Tuesday.
But, let’s not complain about the people who weren’t there, and instead turn our attention and praise to those who had shown up. This isn’t exactly moshing music, even with the older albums being more aggressive than the Tiamat we know today, and even with those odd New York hardcore choruses present on the Clouds album, yet still we saw a large increase in the presence of mind on the audience’s part. We were more, we were closer, and we were paying attention. There was of course a certain amount of singing along, and some headbanging, but mostly it was just that - a stronger presence. Interestingly, the newer songs, the ones in the encore, were the ones with the strongest response. Maybe Tiamat should do a tour where they play Prey from start to finish? I’d be ok with that.

For now, it was mostly Clouds and Wildhoney though, and that’s fine as well. Tiamat delivered a strong performance. It wasn’t as magical as the time they played Wildhoney at Wacken (2010), but I hadn’t figured it would be, and less can still be quite enough. The only thing I would have wished differently, would be more newer songs on the setlist, and how often can you say that about anything? Yeah, definitely a great ride provided by one of Sweden’s premium bands!


In A Dream
Smell Of Incense
A Caress Of Stars
The Sleeping Beauty
Forever Burning Flames
The Scapegoat
Whatever That Hurts
The Ar
Do You Dream Of Me?
25th Floor
Vote For Love

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