The last time I picked up a Trail of Dead album was 2002’s Source Tags & Codes. So I wasn’t sure what to expect with the band’s latest, Tao of the Dead.
Gone is the chaotic sound that Trail of Dead once had but not the nature. Tao of the Dead is a beautiful rock album. Introduction: Let Us Experiment is a crescendoing piece that moves into Pure Radio Cosplay, a driving rock song which ends with a reprise of this beautiful circus keyboard riff from Introduction.
Tao of Dead is both beautiful and an odd circus. Summer of All Dead Souls is another beautiful rock song and then Cover the Days Like a Tidal Wave is an odd narrative that meshes into more circus keyboard riffs. Fall of the Empire is sounds like it could’ve been a softer b-side from Mastodon’s Crack the Skye.
And while each song has its own feel the album isn’t disjointed or difficult to listen to. The flow of the album is smooth and is a real easy listen. When the keyboard comes in on Pure Radio Cosplay Reprise, it’s refreshing and familiar.
While the album’s final track, Strange News From Another Planet (5 tracks combined into one) is a little long winded, the album overall feels very short and I found myself instantly hitting play again when the play album was finished playing.
Having only ever listened to one Trail of Dead record before it makes it easier to say this is my favorite. Concept records can be tricky but Tao of the Dead is an excellent album start to finish.