Tiamat (band)

Last updated

Tiamat band - 2.jpg
Tiamat performing at Kavarna Rock Fest 2011
Background information
Origin Stockholm, Sweden
Genres Gothic metal, gothic rock, death metal (early), symphonic black metal (early) [1]
Years active1987–present
Labels Century Media, Nuclear Blast, Napalm
Associated acts Mr. Death, Katatonia
Members Johan Edlund
Anders Iwers
Lars Sköld
Roger Öjersson

Tiamat is a Swedish band that formed in Stockholm in 1987 and led by Johan Edlund. The band went through a number of stylistic changes, usually leaning towards gothic metal.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Johan Edlund Swedish singer

Johan Edlund is a Swedish singer, guitarist, and keyboardist and leader of the bands Tiamat and Lucyfire. He has also re-mixed songs for Rammstein and London After Midnight. He was also a guest singer in the Dutch progressive metal project, Ayreon.

Gothic metal is a fusion genre combining the heaviness of heavy metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in the United Kingdom originally as an outgrowth of death-doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.



Initially, the band was named Treblinka. After having recorded the album Sumerian Cry in 1989, vocalist/guitarist Johan Edlund and bassist Jörgen Thullberg parted ways with the other two founding members, and subsequently changed the name to Tiamat. The Sumerian Cry album included re-recorded Treblinka songs and was released in June 1990. AllMusic refers to early Tiamat as "one of the leading lights in symphonic black metal." [2]

<i>Sumerian Cry</i> 1990 studio album by Tiamat

Sumerian Cry is the debut album from the Swedish metal band Tiamat.

After the debut, Edlund's leadership would modify the band's style with influences ranging from Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate, Candlemass, Pink Floyd and King Crimson, with Sumerian lyrical themes. H. P. Lovecraft's writings also appear to have influenced Tiamat's thematology, a development consistent with a broader trend in death metal culture. [3] Polish guitarist Waldemar Sorychta would produce and contribute instrumentation to many of the band's albums, as well as those by Tiamat's own tour and labelmates, including Moonspell, Rotting Christ, Lacuna Coil and Samael.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.

Mercyful Fate Danish heavy metal band

Mercyful Fate is a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann. Influenced by progressive rock and hard rock, with lyrics dealing with Satan and the occult, Mercyful Fate were part of the first wave of black metal in the early to mid-1980s. Many of the bands from this movement went on to influence later black metal musicians in the 1990s, particularly in Norway. Since the band's inception in 1981, Mercyful Fate have released seven studio albums, two extended plays and four compilations.

Candlemass (band) Swedish doom metal band

Candlemass is a Swedish doom metal band established in Stockholm in 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling and drummer Matz Ekström. The band had a defining influence on doom metal, and the genre itself is named after their debut album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. After releasing five full-length albums and touring extensively throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Candlemass disbanded in 1994, but reunited three years later. After breaking up again in 2002, Candlemass reformed in 2004 and have continued to record and perform since then.

1994's critically acclaimed Wildhoney mixed raw vocals, slow guitar riffs and synthesizer sounds which sounded different from other extreme metal bands active at that time. An almost continuous forty-minute piece of music, Wildhoney led to the band's appearances at the Dynamo [4] and Wacken Open Air heavy metal festivals in 1995. The group would play a second gig at Dynamo two years later.

Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".

Dynamo Open Air was a festival in the Netherlands held (almost) every year between 1986 and 2005. It was reborn in 2008 as Dynamo Outdoor and in 2015 as Dynamo Metal Fest.

Wacken Open Air German heavy metal music festival

Wacken Open Air (W:O:A) is an open-air heavy metal music festival. It takes place annually in summer in the village of Wacken in Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Hamburg.

Tiamat performing in Krasnodar, Russia, May 2013 Tiamat performing in Krasnodar, May, 2013-5.jpg
Tiamat performing in Krasnodar, Russia, May 2013

Upon the release of A Deeper Kind of Slumber (1997), Edlund relocated from Sweden to Germany and declared himself the only permanent member of the band; all albums that would follow would cement the band into a more gothic rock sound, quite different from the extreme music they did in the years before, with recent albums showing a Sisters of Mercy and Pink Floyd influence. [5]

<i>A Deeper Kind of Slumber</i> 1997 studio album by Tiamat

A Deeper Kind of Slumber is the 1997 Century Media Records release by Swedish band Tiamat. Featuring female background vocals by Birgit Zacher and experimentation with a variety of influences, the album marked the group's first complete withdrawal from both death metal and conventional heavy metal, following their 1994 release, Wildhoney. It was also the first production after their relocation to Germany, and was written almost entirely by founder/lead songwriter Johan Edlund. Much of the music had reflected on Edlund's personal relationship with drugs, creative differences within the band as well as an interpersonal relationship.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Gothic rock is a style of rock music that emerged from post-punk in the late 1970s. The first post-punk bands which shifted towards dark music with gothic overtones include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and the Cure.

The band signed to Nuclear Blast in June 2007, and released their ninth album Amanethes on April 18, 2008.

On August 10, 2008, Thomas Wyreson announced that he was quitting the band, stating that "it's just kinda hard to make everything work with the family etc." [6]

Their song Cain was also featured in the video game Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines .

The band's tenth full-length studio album, The Scarred People , was released on November 2, 2012 through Napalm Records.


Tiamat (band)


Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSales
Sumerian Cry
  • Released: June 7, 1990
  • Label: CMFT Productions
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
The Astral Sleep
  • Released: September 1, 1991
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
  • Released: April 2, 1992
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
  • Released: October 25, 1994
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
A Deeper Kind of Slumber
  • Released: August 12, 1997
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
Skeleton Skeletron
  • Released: August 11, 1999
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
Judas Christ
  • Released: April 30, 2002
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
  • Released: October 27, 2003
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, LP, CS, DL
  • Released: May 27, 2008 [15]
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Formats: CD, LP, DL
The Scarred People
  • Released: November 2, 2012 [16]
  • Label: Napalm
  • Formats: CD, LP, DL
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


"A Winter Shadow"1990The Astral Sleep
"Cold Seed"1997A Deeper Kind of Slumber
"Brighter Than the Sun"1999Skeleton Skeletron
"Vote for Love"2002Judas Christ
"The Temple of the Crescent Moon"2008Amanethes
"Born to Die"2013The Scarred People


TitleEP details
  • Released: November 28, 1994
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD
For Her Pleasure
  • Released: November 8, 1999
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, DL

Live albums

TitleAlbum details
The Sleeping Beauty (Live in Israel)
  • Released: April 5, 1994
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD

Compilation albums

TitleAlbum details
The Musical History of Tiamat
  • Released: February 1995
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: February 26, 2007
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD, DL
The Ark of the Covenant - The Complete Century Media Years
  • Released: August 18, 2008
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD

Video albums

TitleVideo detailsPeak chart positions
The Church of Tiamat
  • Released: April 24, 2006
  • Label: Metal Mind Productions
  • Formats: DVD
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Music videos

1992"Sleeping Beauty"
1994"Whatever That Hurts"
1997"Cold Seed"
A Deeper Kind Of Slumber
1999"Brighter Than The Sun"
Skeleton Skeletron
2002"Vote For Love"
Judas Christ
2012"The Scarred People" [18] angst-im-waldThe Scarred People
2013"384"Ioanna Lampropoulou [19]
"Love Terrorists"Johan Edlund, Ioanna Lampropoulou [20] [21]
"The Red Of The Morning Sun"

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