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Black Tide - 'Post Mortem' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4d/61/01/1699_BlackTidePostMortem_1322599605.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 29, 2011    
 
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A confusing album.

Continuing the ongoing trend to “get heavier” comes what may yet be seen as another missed opportunity. No surprise then that it’s from the same stable that bought you the overdone disappointment that was ‘Justice’ by Rev Theory. It’s been three years since the excellent ‘Light From Above’ hit the shelves. That album won many plaudits for its ability to combine classic old school metal, glam and speed metal with more modern metal leanings. It had the crunching riffs, dual guitar and fist pumping shout out loud choruses making songs like ‘Warriors of Time’, ‘Shout’ and ‘Black Abyss’ modern metal classics. 

Fast forward three years and rhythm guitarist Alex Nunes has gone, being replaced by Austin Diaz and producer Johnny K has been replaced by Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Avenged Sevenfold) and Garth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine). Has it been for the better? Well, opener‘Ashes’ seems to suggest not, it’s extremely heavy, not particularly melodic and it features the by now compulsory screamo style vocals, ‘Bury Me’ follows suit but at least it has a decent hook. Things suddenly improve drastically on ‘Let it Out’ where the band seem to rediscover the elements that made them so good in the first place.

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‘Honest Eyes’ continues the improvement with its speed metal verses and hook heavy chorus, in summary a proper piece of metal. Indeed the transition is remarkable as we embark on a journey through some solid metal. ‘Fight Til the Bitter End’ is a worthy stab at pop metal, whilst ‘That Fire’ without touching brilliance is still a pumping metal anthem. The latter half of the album throws in the curve ball of the brooding acoustic based ‘Into the Sky’ but is spoilt by the addition of the overly aggressive ‘Walking Dead Man’ complete with the screamo style vocals.

‘Post Mortem’ is a confusing album; the Black Tide that we know is in there somewhere struggling to get out but all the while being held back by the need to modernize, get heavy, add more influences and ultimately move in the direction that the label wants them to move. Black Tide is a different beast these days and fans of the debut may not want to bother hunting this particular one down.

Mike Newdeck

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