Tao of the Dead Image
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: The group is down to four instead of their previous sextet lineup, but their newest album is still rich in sound and is compositionally sophisticated. It was recorded in 10 days and is thought to be their most conceptual record to date.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Feb 8, 2011
    100
    A genre defining release and a welcome return to boundary surfing music.
  2. Feb 8, 2011
    80
    This is another fascinating and unfashionable album from a band unwilling to cater to anyone's expectations except their own, and thriving because of it.
  3. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    Meticulously orchestrated by frontman Conrad Keely, Tao Of The Dead hits a full-on prog rock pose with seemless transitions, classical movement structures and lunar background flourishes scraping the Dark Side Of The Moon. [Mar 2011, p.92]
  4. Feb 7, 2011
    70
    Making no egregious concessions to potential new fans, nor to the musical trends of the past decade, Trail of Dead finally sound like a band emerging from a purgatorial state, out from underneath the shadows of their former selves.
  5. 70
    There's plenty more on Tao of the Dead that works. After years out in the cold as music critic whipping posts, this should go a long way toward reclaiming some lost luster for Trail of Dead.
  6. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    Album seven hits a sweet spot between prog and power-chords. [March 2011, p. 108]
  7. Feb 3, 2011
    40
    I can't imagine why anyone would want to hear another half-hour of this crap, but if you've got brain cells to spare after Tao of the Dead's wonky, caterwauling sendoff, then by all means, put on your +2 Boots of Moshing and get to it!

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Feb 8, 2011
    10
    Killer album. (No pun intended). This crunchy, chaotic, powerful, poetic music will remind you to live while you're alive. Whether you wantKiller album. (No pun intended). This crunchy, chaotic, powerful, poetic music will remind you to live while you're alive. Whether you want to hear a great song or two or take a ride on this wave of rock. Here's your ticket. This will be the record to beat in 2011. Good luck with that... Expand
  2. Feb 13, 2011
    10
    I think The Trail of Dead don't get the respect they should because they don't fit into an established niche: too arty for hardcore and tooI think The Trail of Dead don't get the respect they should because they don't fit into an established niche: too arty for hardcore and too much of a hurricane for indie. They don't seem to get the credit they deserve for defining their own sonic territory. But this album is a wild yet immaculately crafted realization of their own unfashionable sound. It approximates the raging swagger of The Stooges, the riffs of The Who, the spiraling orchestration of "A Day in the Life," the mysticism of Led Zeppelin, and the megalomania of King Crimson. The songs blend together, as the band explosively thrusts in new directions but returns to eerie melodic themes. Yes, it's grandiose, unsubtle, and takes itself comically seriously, but how many albums recently have been this exciting to listen to? Expand
  3. Feb 9, 2011
    9
    With Tao of the Dead, they've finally managed to fine-tune the grandiose orchestrations and experimentation of their more recent albums to aWith Tao of the Dead, they've finally managed to fine-tune the grandiose orchestrations and experimentation of their more recent albums to a level that doesn't clash with the sound of their earlier work. They hinted at a return to greatness with 2009's Century of Self and with this album they've truly delivered. Expand
  4. Feb 8, 2011
    9
    This is an early review but compared to it's peers in "indiedom" this album is superior to most. This is one of a handful of non-metal orThis is an early review but compared to it's peers in "indiedom" this album is superior to most. This is one of a handful of non-metal or electronic albums released in the last two years that didn't bore me to tears. Expand
  5. Feb 13, 2011
    9
    I was expecting to be disappointed but this is actually quite brilliant. The entire album is whirlwind. I'm still undecided about the 16I was expecting to be disappointed but this is actually quite brilliant. The entire album is whirlwind. I'm still undecided about the 16 minute closer though. Highly recommend it. Expand
  6. Jun 17, 2011
    9
    Just an amazing effort by Trail of the Dead. I can't get enough of this album. This is what real music is all about. If your a fan of goodJust an amazing effort by Trail of the Dead. I can't get enough of this album. This is what real music is all about. If your a fan of good music this is a MUST. Expand
  7. Feb 13, 2011
    8
    Trail of Dead are one of my most favorite bands. Their work over the last decade has never failed to impress. That's hard to pull off asTrail of Dead are one of my most favorite bands. Their work over the last decade has never failed to impress. That's hard to pull off as most bands dry up after around a decade. This new album takes things to a new exciting direction, and I love the concept of the album, the cover artwork, the booklet (with the special edition)... This time most of the critics gave credit where credit was due. Expand