Tarot is a heavy metal band from Kuopio, Finland formed in 1982 by Marco Hietala
and his brother Zachary. Originally conceived as Purgatory, they were asked to change their name when offered a record deal in 1986. Notably, their lineup has remained almost consistent since their formation; only replacing guitarist Mako H
in 1988 with keyboardist Janne Tolsa, and adding additional vocalist and secondary keyboardist Tommi Salmela in 2006 (after having him as an unofficial member since 1996). The band started as playing traditional heavy metal with some elements from what was popular in rock music at the time. (The band even wore glam type makeup in their first live appearances, as proven by early music videos). Later they veered towards progressive metal, largely inspired by Queensr˙che
, and now the band has some elements of power metal in their music.
Their first album Spell of Iron was a moderate success, but after that, they fell to obscurity. Despite their strong underground following, they never received much mainstream attention until 2002, when Marco joined Nightwish
, though they still remain relatively underground, despite being active for 28 years and releasing 8 albums.
- Marco Hietala: Bass, Lead Vocals (1982-present)
- Zachary Hietala: Lead Guitar (1982-present)
- Janne Tolsa: Keyboard (1988-present)
- Pecu Cinnari: Drums (1982-present)
- Tommi "Tuple" Salmela: Vocals, Secondary Keyboard (1996-present)
- Mako H: Guitar (1982-1988)
- Spell of Iron (1986)
- Follow Me Into Madness (1988)
- To Live Forever (1993)
- Stigmata (1995)
- For The Glory of Nothing (1998)
- Suffer Our Pleasures (2003)
- Crows Fly Black (2006)
- Gravity of Light (2010)
Tarot has examples of:
- Ascended Fanboy: Keyboardist Janne Tolsa was this. According to his profile on the official website, he was a huge fan of the band who would get drunk backstage, and one day stumbled across a piano and started to play "Rose on the Grave." The band let him rehearse with them and he was added to the lineup afterwards.
- Brother Chuck: Original second guitarist Mako H. Nothing is known about him (some sources claim he ran off with the band's funds). The band doesn't wish to speak of him either.
- Cover Version: They have covered "Children of the Grave", "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", "Generation Clash", "Turn Me On", "Veteran of the Psychic Wars", "Locomotive Breath" and "Mama".
- Epic Rocking: "The Invisible Hand", "Iron Stars", "Guardian Angel", "E.T.I.", "Stigmata (I Feel For You)", "Shining Black" and "Rider of the Last Day".
- Expy: Their 80s Hair and glam metal makeup made them look like expies of a more famous Swedish band. Their new vocalist Tommi sounds like Ozzy.
- Fade Out: Very, very common on their albums.
- Five-Man Band:
- Lead Bassist
- Mondegreen: "My nutballs/Mind numbles in its hibernated halfworld" in "Angels of Pain" from Stigmata.
- The live versions of nearly all the songs end up mondegreened due to Marco's pronunciation. This troper's personal favorite is Marco's cry of "I ROW!" when leading into I Rule!.
- The Pete Best: Original band member, guitarist Harri Veteli
- Pretty Boy: While all of them in the 1980s would fit the bill, Mako H looked a lot more feminine.
- Rearrange the Song: Spell of Iron MMXI is a whole debut album re-recorded and -arranged.
- Vocal Tag Team: The new team of Tommi and Marco.