There are a lot of bands on this list (probably more than I care to count) who have modified their sound into something not really resembling metal anymore. Usually the arc goes: They start out wicked heavy, maybe death or black metal. They start to experiment with their sound and expand not only their fan base but the minds of the current fan base. Then they fall off the cliff, so to speak, and become something resembling post rock or gothic rock or some such business. Some bands transition seamlessly and still put out quality albums, obviously whether or not you find non-metal or “post-metal” albums enjoyable. (I’ve brought up Anathema in this respect before and I’ll do it again.) Some bands really do fall off the proverbial cliff. In those instances you really just need to celebrate the albums and the music that you dig. Enter Sweden’s Tiamat.
Tiamat started off as a black metal band. I’m not talking some sort of black metal hybrid, no, they were straight up black metal which anyone stumbling upon this band today might not be able to believe. They began to transition over a handful of exceptional albums, expanding their sound by adding various elements of prog rock, doom, and psych rock. What they’ve transitioned to is really not in my personal wheelhouse but to each his own. In 1994 Tiamat released their fourth full length album, Wildhoney on Century Media. This album was absolutely genre bending at the time (it still is really) and honestly you’d be hard pressed to find many bands in 1994 that were doing what Tiamat was doing sonically. They alternate between clean and gruff vocals, added well-placed synths and really created this dark, dreary atmosphere that fans of classic doom could latch onto.
But possibly the best part about this album and what set it apart from a lot of other similar bands was the amazing way the album is structured. It comes off as almost one continuous 40+ minute song. It really is a lush album in a lot of respects and has stood the test of time very well. I highly recommend you check out the video they did for the track “Whatever That Hurts“.