November 7, 2021

Strap yourself in tightly because the roller coaster is about to set off and it’s going to be one hell of a ride! Tales Of The Old is a symphonic metal band from Athens, Greece that was founded in 2010 by the keyboard player Mike Tzanakis; a man with a most definite vision as to how music should be played and that is huge, expansive and then totally over the top. You can tell that he must be a fan of all things symphonic particularly Therion, Nightwish and Rhapsody and all are bands that have never undersold themselves and always guaranteed to produce spectacular shows.

It appears that Tzanakis is a man who prefers his music to have a darker edge and this is most evident as The Book Of Chaos is suffused with a brooding and sinister flavour that is at the very core of the music. He is inspired by medieval history and portentous events which makes the music very gothic but not to be produced with Goth! Just take a look up at any medieval cathedral to see the assortment of gargoyles and grotesques on show and that seems to be the world that Tzanakis sees and wants to bring to our attention.

The Book Of Chaos is really the debut album from the band given that they put out the demo Beware in 2010 and a short EP The Passageway From Hell To Earth in 2012 but then hit a number of obstacles which effectively meant the band no longer existed, however, Tzanakis bounced back in 2020 with, effectively, a new team seemingly made up of guest musicians and all have emerged stronger for the ordeal to release a most ambitious, dark, orchestral and choral metal album of real delight. Tzanakis, of course, plays keyboards and his huge banks of keys help build up symphonic wall of sound that is essential for the band and he has also done the vocal arrangements as well as supplying some screaming vocals to. Guitar is supplied by his old friend Bob Katsionis (ex-Firewind) with two intriguing characters known only as Shadow and Spectre play bass and drums respectively.

This is a heavy choral work too and we get vocals from Sakis Tolis (Rotting Christ), Fabio Lione (Turilli/Lione, Rhapsody), Fotis Benardo, Alexandros Louziotis, Christina Alexiou, Androniki Skoula plus a classical choir that includes Christina Alexiou, Sofia Karvouna, Margarita Papadimitriou, Antonis Dimou, Alexandros Louziotis and Romanos Papadimitriou. It is so big and intense that you get the feeling that just about every musician in Greece came when the word was out that the album was in production! The music is epic in scope and even though of a dark and elemental nature there is still a central theme of melody running throughout the work so it is still an easy listen even if heavy and bombastic.

The Book Of Chaos is truly an ambitious score from a talented composer and the team he has put together has helped to make his dream come true. If you are into symphonic power metal then you are going to be amazed by this most ambitious of albums.

The Book Of Chaos

  1. Heavens In War (3:29)
  2. Fallen Angels (4:24)
  3. Beware (3:48)
  4. Dark Witch (4:02)
  5. Let Your Hatred Be (4:55)
  6. Tortured Souls (Instrumental) (1:31)
  7. The Book Of Chaos (4:16)
  8. Contract Of Blood (4:43)
  9. Broken Heart (3:23)
  10. The Invocation (3:32)
  11. The First Exorcism (3:19)