Tao of the Dead - ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 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.
  2. Feb 11, 2011
    80
    Maybe the reason Tao of the Dead works so well is that the band has discovered a way to inject some much needed fun into prog rock.
  3. Feb 11, 2011
    72
    Set your controls for the heart of your bong.
  4. Apr 12, 2011
    60
    Despite the epic pretensions of the 16-miniute finale, "Tao Of The Dead Part Two,", sadly, this sort of tribute to rock's historical hinterlands yields fewer surprises each time. [May 2011, p.77]
  5. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    Album seven hits a sweet spot between prog and power-chords. [March 2011, p. 108]
  6. Mar 14, 2011
    60
    Their decision to fuse the songs with a series of spaced-out instrumental passages is indulgent, to be sure, but the album's breathless, genre-spanning ambition makes it easy to forgive.
  7. Sounding as vital as they ever have seven LPs down the track, there's life in them yet.
  8. Feb 8, 2011
    75
    At last, the band sounds breathless and unbound again, and as punk-prog as it wants to be.
  9. Feb 8, 2011
    100
    A genre defining release and a welcome return to boundary surfing music.
  10. Feb 8, 2011
    70
    The band's typically thunderous melodic sprawl and cryptic musings on life and death perfectly fit the conceptual bill, with everything cranked to its natural extreme.
  11. 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]
  12. 70
    It's important to have moments like this in a concept album that's meant to be taken as one massive 52-minute expression; doing so gives the listener a break and focuses on momentary satisfactions in order to properly digest this cornucopia of solid rock goodness.
  13. 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.
  14. Feb 14, 2011
    82
    While they did gain immediacy and a hint of their earlier punk energy, this is still some of the most densely constructed art-rock you're likely to hear all year, which only makes the quick process even more impressive.
  15. Feb 14, 2011
    60
    Mixed so its songs blend together, Tao is such a cohesive record that when the second track, Pure Radio Cosplay, is reprised midway through, it seems like the end of an intense musical detour rather than a simple replaying of the song.
  16. 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!
  17. Mar 23, 2011
    60
    Tao of the Dead makes me, by turns, want to improve my attention span and want to listen to something else.
  18. Feb 3, 2011
    80
    The conclusion, then, is clear: both as a standalone record and part of …Trail of Dead's considerable canon, Tao of the Dead will be remembered as a high point.
  19. Mar 14, 2011
    50
    While bombastic and ambitious as ever, Tao suggests that Trail of Dead have once again lost the taste for subtlety and texture that's past served to elevate their sound from the prog pack.
  20. Feb 7, 2011
    80
    Tao of the Dead finally channel their indulgences, creating a heroic symphony that sounds wholly constructed.
  21. Feb 3, 2011
    67
    The locals' penchant for grandiose concepts and elongated immolation remains, but part one of Tao avoids letting the song cycle run away with the songs.
  22. Feb 8, 2011
    70
    Keely has stated in interviews that it's this kind of record that he grew up listening to and wanted to emulate, and maybe that's why Tao of the Dead ends up being the most focused Trail of Dead effort in years rather than a space-rock sham.
  23. It sounds reaching, like the band is lost and looking desperately for an audience and a voice. I hope they start looking somewhere else.
  24. 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.
  25. Feb 18, 2011
    80
    This infusion of punk is quite some achievement given the album is divided into movements, yet in stripping back to a four-piece they strip away pretentiousness and inject rough-hewn power. [5 Feb 2011, p.51]
  26. Feb 10, 2011
    90
    While several tracks would sit comfortably on a Best Of ...Trail Of Dead playlist Tao Of The Dead certainly feels like their most consistent collection in years.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User 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 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... Full Review »
  2. 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 good music this is a MUST. Full Review »
  3. 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 16 minute closer though. Highly recommend it. Full Review »