STYLE: , ORIGIN: FinlandFORMED: 1982LABEL: Nuclear Blast
  • Marco Hietala - Bass & Vocals
  • Zachary Hietala - Guitars
  • Tommi Salmela - Vocals & Samplers
  • Janne Tolsa - Keyboards
  • Pecu Cinnari - Drums

Tarot is a Heavy Metal band from Finland. Here is their story.



Spell of Iron (1986), Follow Me Into Madness (1988)

Tarot was originally formed by the Hietala brothers in the early 80’s. Back then the band’s name was called “Purgatory”. As Purgatory reached the point when they got the record deal, the label wanted Purgatory to change their name. Since then the band has been known as Tarot. Also the line-up settled in to the form of Marco Hietala (bass/vocals), Zachary Hietala (guitars), Mako H (guitars) and Pecu Cinnari (drums).

Wings of Darkness single saw the daylight in 1986 and during that same year they released their first full length album which was titled as Spell of Iron. Next year they released again a single and it was called Rose on the Grave.



To Live Forever (1993), To Live Again (1994), Stigmata (1995)

After the second album there was a brake in Tarot-land. Durind this “vacation” the line-up changed a little bit and a keyboardist was added to the band as Janne Tolsa joined Tarot, who replaced the second guitarist Mako H. And after five years of more and less silence the third album, To Live Forever, was finished in 1993. Tarot got good publicity in Japan so their first live album was released in 1994 only in Japan. The gig was recorded at Tavastia Club, Helsinki. Fortunately some of the songs from the live album were released during the next year on a limited edition bonus cd with the next studio album, Stigmata.



For The Glory Of Nothing (1998), Shining Black Compilation (1998: Japanese Edition)

For The Glory of Nothing came out in 1998. Also during the same year, Shining Black, a Tarot compilation album came out in Japan. After this they returned into silence. Luckily the silent wasn’t complete, they did gigs here and there. But when Tarot wasn’t active, Marco was. He played in Conquest and Sinergy. He also did some gigs with the other Conquest guys as a cover group Metal Gods. Marco also joined Nightwish in 2002 and along that, some more attention came also towards Tarot. Janne Tolsa played the keyboards for Virtuocity‘s Secret Visions album as Marco sang a few songs for it. At the end of summer 2002 Tarot did a special 80’s gig in Kuopio, they played material only from the first two albums. And to complete the 80’s the guys looked like they were still stuck in the 80’s!



Suffer Our Pleasures (2003), Shining Black Compilation (2003: 2CD)

During the year 2003 the Shining Black Compilation was released again in the rest of the world. Tarot signed a new record deal with Spinefarm Records and the new studio album Suffer Our Pleasures was released.

The Suffer album did quite well here in Finland, but somehow the record company, at that time, managed to blow it up in the foreign countries. The album was real hard to come by in foreign record stores and the advertising was done poorly. This was naturally a big disappointment for the band as once again the album included some of the greatest material the band had ever written. Despite the negative aspects of the album’s marketing, Suffer Our Pleasures opened new doors and gave the band more underground status than ever. Thanks to the active touring.



Crows Fly Black (2006), Undead Indeed Live (2008)

In between 2003 and 2006 Marco kept busy with his another band Nightwish by recording and touring around the world. Janne did the album with Eternal Tears of Sorrow and a lot of gigs with an industrial metal band called Turmion Kätilöt. In 2006 it was time for Tarot to get serious again.

Early spring 2006 the late record company Bluelight Records released a Re-Masters collection, which included all the first six albums with a huge collection of bonus material, un-released demos, live and special versions of the songs and some covers. Some of the albums were also remixed.

The fans had been expected the re-releases for years and the collection succeed so well that in May 2006 when Tarot released the new single You, it made number one on the Finnish charts for the first time in the history of Tarot. At the same time the band formalized their backing vocalist Tommi “Tuple” Salmela as a true band member, after being with the band more than ten years. Now Tarot was able to perform more widen vocal performances than ever, using two lead singers as a band called Deep Purple did in the golden era with Coverdale/Hughes.

Tarot changed the record label again and now they work in Finland with KingFoo Entertaiment. Kingfoo Entertainment is at the same their booking and management agency. In Europe Tarot is working with Nuclear Blast and the hopes are high again for the future.

Summer 2006 was really busy for the band as the band toured various clubs and festivals throughout the summer. In the mean time Tarot also composed, demoed and recorded new material and finally released the darkest and gloomiest Tarot album written to date – Crows Fly Black.

After the release of Crows Fly Black Tarot toured for a year and a half altogether doing shows outside of Finland also. “Crows” was released by Nuclear Blast for the wider european audiences, which made it possible for the band to do some more touring in the central Europe.

The well used time sharpened the band into a shape which you can witness on the live DVD Undead Indeed. DVD was shot in their hometown Kuopio, Club Rupla in 17.8.2007. The DVD was then released on 11.6.2008, and for awhile it stayed as #1 in finnish DVD charts. Undead Indeed covers the whole show of the evening and captures really well the atmosphere of these hairy dudes from the county of Savo, Finland doing a sweaty rock´n´roll show.

By the release of the DVD Marco was already touring with Nightwish, and Tarot did just a few selected shows during 2008-2009. It was clear however that as soon as the NW tour would wind down, Tarot would get active again.


Gravity Of Light (2010)

During 2008-2009 Janne, Marco and Zac had written quite a lot of new stuff already at their spare time. It only took a few demosessions for the guys to come up with a bunch of songs, which you will be able to hear on their eighth studioalbum titled Gravity Of Light.

Most of the demo work for this album was done in August and September 2009, and the actual recordings for the album started immediately after that in November 2009. Mixing has been done by Janne and Mikko Tegelman and the mastering by Mika Jussila at Finnvox studios in January and February 2010. The album is released by King Foo entertainment, which acts also as the booking agency and management for Tarot.

The album feels like meeting an old friend. Some things are the same, but your friend has gained weight. He shows new scars, and tattoos. The beard is longer and he projects a meaner and faster temper. At the same time there´s still a big heart at the center. When you hear Gravity Of Light you will believe.

If you noticed we are missing a video from this artist (Official one) please let us know by sending e-mail to [email protected]

The Spell Of Iron MMXI / 2011

Tarot - The Spell Of Iron MMXI
  • Album Info
  • 2011
  • King Foo Entertainment
  1. Midwinter Nights
  2. Dancing On The Wire
  3. Back In The Fire
  4. Love’s Not Made for My Kind
  5. Never Forever
  6. The Spell of Iron
  7. De Mortui Nil Nisi Bene
  8. Pharao
  9. Wings of Darkness
  10. Things That Crawl At Night
  11. I Walk Forever (Bonus Track – Live With Choir @ Ruisrock 2010)

The Spell of Iron MMXI is the ninth album by the Finnish band Tarot.
The band’s debut album Spell of Iron was originally recorded in 1986 and met reasonable critical acclaim. For the band’s 25th anniversary, the album was re-recorded, bringing the sound, production and lyrics up to date and out of its more glam/hair metal stylistic origins. Spell of Iron MMXI was then released on April 11th 2011.

Gravity Of Light / 2010

Tarot - Gravity Of Light
  • Album Info
  • 2010
  • King Foo Entertainment
  1. Satan Is Dead
  2. Hell Knows
  3. Rise!
  4. Pilot Of All Dreams
  5. Magic And Technology
  6. Calling Down The Rain
  7. Caught In The Deadlights
  8. I Walk Forever
  9. Sleep In The Dark
  10. Gone
  11. End of Everything

Gravity Of Light is the eighth studio album by the Finnish heavy metal band, Tarot. It was released in Finland on March 10, 2010, in Europe on April 23, 2010 and in the US on June 8, 2010.

Crows Fly Black / 2006

Tarot - Crows Fly Black
  • Album Info
  • 2006
  • King Foo Entertainment
  1. Crows Fly Black
  2. Traitor
  3. Ashes To The Star
  4. Messenger OfGods
  5. Before The Skies Come Down
  6. Tides
  7. Bleeding Dust
  8. You 
  9. Howl!
  10. Grey

Crows Fly Black is the seventh album by Finnish heavy metal band Tarot, released on 27 October 2006. This album is accompanied by the single “You”, and the music video “Ashes to the Stars”. This is the first album to officially acknowledge Tommi ‘Tupple’ Salmela as a member of the band, referred to as an ‘old-new’ member; until then, Tommi’s role was limited to sampling and backing vocals, while in this album, Tommi takes role of fully fledged vocalist

Suffer Our Pleasures / 2003

Tarot - Suffer Our Pleasures
  • Album Info
  • 2003
  • Spinefarm Records
  1. I Rule
  2. Pyre Of Gods
  3. Rider Of The Last Day
  4. Follow the Blind
  5. Undead Son 
  6. Of Time and Dust
  7. From the Void 
  8. Convulsions
  9. From the Shadows
  10. Painless

Suffer Our Pleasures is the sixth album by Finnish metal band Tarot, released in 2003 by Spinefarm Records.

For The Glory Of Nothing / 1998

Tarot - For The Glory Of Nothing
  • Album Info
  • 1998
  • Blastic Heaven
  1. Crawlspace
  2. Warhead
  3. I’m Here
  4. Shining Black
  5. Beyond Troy
  6. Dark Star Burning
  7. The Scourger
  8. Ghosts Of Me
  9. The Punishment
  10. Ice

For The Glory Of Nothing is the fifth album by Finnish heavy metal band Tarot, released in 1998. The album includes a guest appearance from Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius, who contributes backing vocals to the song “Warhead”.

Stigmata / 1995

Tarot - Stigmata
  • Album Info
  • 1995
  • Bluelight Records
  1. Angels of Pain
  2. E.T.I
  3. Shades in Glass
  4. As One
  5. State Of Grace
  6. Race The Light
  7. Expected To Heal 
  8. Sleepless
  9. The Teeth
  10. Stigmata 

Stigmata is the fourth album by Finnish heavy metal band Tarot, released in 1995 by Bluelight Records. A remastered edition with bonus tracks was released in 2006 by Blastic Heaven.


  • Turn Me On (Accept cover)
  • Stigmata (I Feel for You) (Acoustic)
  • Live Hard Die Hard (Acoustic)

To Live Forever / 1993

Tarot - To Live Forever
  • Album Info
  • 1993
  • Bluelight Records
  1. Do You Wanna Live Forever
  2. The Colour of Your Blood
  3. The Invisible Hand
  4. Live Hard Die Hard
  5. Sunken Graves
  6. The Chosen
  7. Born Into The Flame
  8. In My Blood
  9. Tears of Steel
  10. My Enslaver
  11. Shame
  12. Iron Stars
  13. Children Of The Grave
  14. Guardian Angel

To Live Forever is the third album by Finnish metal band Tarot, released in 1993 by Bluelight Records. It is also the first album to feature the band’s new keyboardist, Janne Tolsa, who has replaced former guitarist Mako H. The album also includes a Black Sabbath cover Children of the Grave.

Follow Me Into Madness / 1988

Tarot - Follow Me into Madness
  • Album Info
  • 1988
  • Bluelight Records
  1. Descendants of Power
  2. Rose on the Grave
  3. Lady Deceiver
  4. Follow Me Into Madness
  5. Blood Runs Cold/Happy End
  6. No Return
  7. I Don’t Care Anymore
  8. Breathing Fire
  9. I Spit Venom
  10. Shadow in My Heart

Follow Me Into Madness is the second album by Finnish metal band Tarot, released in 1988 by Bluelight Records. A remastered version was released in 2006 by Spinefarm Records. Rose On The Grave was released as a single in 1988. This is also the last album with Mako H. He is replaced by Janne Tolsa, the current keyboard player.

Spell of Iron / 1986

Tarot - Spell of Iron
  • Album Info
  • 1986
  • Flamingo Music
  1. Midwinter Nights
  2. Dancing on the Wire
  3. Back in the Fire
  4. Love’s Not Made for My Kind
  5. Never Forever
  6. Spell of Iron
  7. De Mortui Nil Nisi Bene
  8. Pharao
  9. Wings of Darkness
  10. Things That Crawl at Nigh

Spell of Iron is the first album by Finnish metal band Tarot, released in 1986 by Flamingo Music. Spell of Iron has been released on CD in 1994 by Bluelight Records, and a remastered version was released in 2006 by Spinefarm Records. 

Album includes the band’s most popular song, Wings of Darkness. Tarot’s website is named after the song.


We had the time to have a small interview with Tommi Salmela from Tarot, Raskasta Joulua and Lazy Bonez about several topics. Will we ever get the chance to see

September 10, 2018 by Daniel Ramos