Saturday, March 23, 2019

October Tide : "In Splendor Below "

This Swedish band features two members of Katatonia, the Norrman brothers holding down a twin guitar attack for the band's 6th album. It starts off as melodic death metal not far removed from say Bloodbath, taking on a more original sound that holds more in common with earlier Katatonia on the second song. They are generally a pretty straight forward affair. Not relying on speed, but heavy on the double bass. The album sounds good and the guitars are well layered. There is obvious thought put in the construction of the songs/ Granted with the growled vocals they are more reliant on the guitars providing the melodies . This is done adequately , though far from ground breaking.   Despite this the songs do grow on me with each listen . I see this as a sign of good song writing.

There is a touch of blackness to the snarl of the vocals. Katatonia had some doom tendencies early go and they resurface here.This is felt on "Our Famine". This leans them in the direction of being death doom. This song also has more feeling to it , or at least the illusion of that persists since the lyrics are also more discernible. At times the drums have a more accessible hard rock sound. The growled vocals are the main thing that gives it an edge. They are darker and more deliberate than Dark Tranquility. "Seconds" shows how they have not forgotten how to write an actual song even with growling replacing the vocals.

On the last song it feels like they are going to the well too many times with the same formula. The power chords are very deliberate. This keeps them firmly planted in a more melodic version of death doom. It does end with a pretty cool riff, but the rule around here is cool riffs alone does not a good song make. I will give this album a 8.5, despite many of the songs having a similar feel, it's catchy song writing which is more than the bulk of death metal you hear these days and I suspect this album will continue to grow on me . If you are already a fan of this project then it will not let you down. I never given these guys that solid of a listen, but I am impressed at how well done this is.

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