The Hietala brothers formed Tarot in the early 1980s originally under the name Purgatory. When Purgatory reached the point when they got the record deal, the label wanted them to change their band name, presumably due to the name being already used, so Tarot was chosen. Also the line-up settled in to the form of Marco Hietala (bass/vocals), Zachary Hietala (guitars), Mako H (guitars) and Pecu Cinnari (drums).
Their Wings Of Darkness single saw the daylight in 1986 and during that same year they released their first full-length album titled as Spell Of Iron. Next year they released another single called Rose On The Grave. In 1988 the second Tarot album arrived as Follow Me Into Madness. The 1980s was a decade of decadence, a time when everything was done big, so Tarot played with enormous equipment, even the roadies of Metallica were apparently impressed by Tarot's Marshall piles.
After the second album they took a break. During the downtime some line-up housecleaning was conducted with a keyboardist added to the band when Janne Tolsa joined, who replaced the second guitarist Mako H. After five years of silence the third album, To Live Forever (1993) arrived. Tarot had been receiving publi in Japan so their first live album featuring them playing at the Tavastia Club in Helsinki titled To Live Again was released in 1994 but only in Japan. 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.
After another break, For The Glory Of Nothing arrived in 1998. Also during the same year, Shining Black, a best of compilation album of their work came out in Japan and once again Tarot went silent for an extended period with only the occasional single and gig resulting. But during this new down time, Marco was busy by playing in Conquest and Sinergy, and also completing gigs with other Conquest members as a cover group named Metal Gods. He would also join Nightwish in 2002. Also, Janne Tolsa played the keyboards for Virtuo 's Secret Visions album as Marco sang a few songs for it.
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 a new studio album is just around the corner named Suffer Our Pleasures.
Footnote: Do not confuse this Tarot with the Honduran band of the same name.