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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Black-Tide-Chasing-Shadows-2015

BLACK TIDE - CHASING SHADOWS - ALBUM REVIEW

PAVEMENT ENTERTAINMENT | Release Date: October 16 2015

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Black Tide’s first album 2008’s ‘Light From Above’ was a huge soaring slab of Metal that seemingly knew no boundaries and took in both Heavy Metal and Speed Metal to great effect; but it all changed with their second ‘Post Mortem’ release from 2011 which, well… just made them sound like everyone else in the Metalcore genre.  An EP followed and edged its bets somewhere between Hard Rock and Metalcore confusing everyone but moving in the right direction. Their latest album ‘Chasing Shadows’ therefore poses a big question – what will they sound like this time?


The acoustic ‘Intro’ sets a gentle scene before the rampage of opening track ‘No Guidelines’ which has all the speed you desire, with clean vocals reminiscent of the glorious debut. So far so good…


The test comes of course with next up ‘Angel in the Dark’ which rides on fire-fuelled guitars and sweet backing vocal melodies, it’s like Metalcore without the dirty vocals, soaring and sweet with balls enough to please the Metalheads, with a simple strummed breakdown that adds just the right texture – it appears we are back in safe hands.


And that it seems is the template, much as it was in 2008, Black Tide has gone back to what made them such an instantly appealing band – and a great Heavy Metal outfit. And as you dig deeper it just gets better and better. ‘Predator (Animal)’ is hard Metal heavy on melody. At times you can hear slices and echoes of both NWOBHM and bands as diverse as Trivium (Crusade era) and Bullet for My valentine crossed with the ‘clean’ half of Metalcore. And then when you think you’ve got it - you get tracks like the Hard Rock ballad ‘Burn’ a song which, before the guitar-fuelled breakdown, would feel more at home in the hands of any number of 80’s stadium fillers. It’s actually a great song.


‘Chasing Shadows’ the title track and ‘Before We Form’ lodged there in the centre are probably two of our favourite tracks: the former just seems a more immediate version of earlier tracks, whilst ‘…Form’ somehow just seems to have more lift and power.


‘Sex is Angry’ relishes its Power meets Melodic Metal glory, and sports a thoroughly modern almost radio rock chorus that screams crossover. It’s not a bad song at all and as mainstream as Black Tide has ever sounded!  It’s a great and unexpected left turn…


‘Welcome to Misery’ springs out of the box with an almost pop punk gusto before kicking in the subdued guitars and a big vocal that places the song somewhere in the region of modern Radio Rock with spiky Metal adornments (in this case primarily a great solo); following that ‘Heaven’ is even more pronounced – a lush ballad that is even more chart friendly. It’s an album that clearly has a few personalities.


Closer ‘Promised Land’ thankfully gets us back to the Metal where I certainly feel a lot more comfortable – it’s a huge song, great drums, soaring guitars and big harmonies with the thrust and drive that the album started out with.


So where does this rank? Well it’s maybe not on a par with the debut, but certainly a mile ahead of ‘Post Mortem’. The only real question is on an album with such a dual aspect – what comes next?   

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


 

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