October Tide "A Thin Shell"

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon ReviewsRating: 0.91/1
October Tide "A Thin Shell"
  • Album: A Thin Shell
  • Year: 2010
  • Label: Candelight
  • Artist: 
  • Sweden

Fred Norrman, the ex. KATATONIA guitar player, decided to reform this band, a band that shocked the Doom Death scene with their 1995 album “Rain Without End”. Together with Jonas Renske, OCTOBER TIDE was readily digested and labeled as a real hope of the Swedish Death Doom Metal Scene. This album was the last on which Jonas used his growling vocal skills, after which he only focused on KATATONIA and their new musical approach. Even if he continued his work with KATATONIA, in 1999, Fred managed to squeeze in the new OCTOBER TIDE album “Grey Dawn”, making use of a vocalist from a Death Metal band.

After this album, the band split-up and Fred persuaded his work with KATATONIA. But this year, came the good news, meaning that Fred announced that after 11 years, OCTOBER TIDE will release a new album.

The British label Candlelight immediately caught the golden fish and so it seems that at the end of September their third album will be launched on the market. The natural question is: what kind of sound did they incorporate into the new compositions, are they above those of 1999? Well let’s take it one by one: the musicality is very distinctive - those guitars with very long solos, the dynamics which evaporate a melancholic and sad aura. Therefore everything seems in place in the garden of bands that sound like 15 years have not passed by them. There are no keyboards or other atmospheric ingredients, the concept is a clean and solid one, everything is done by the book. Tobias’s voice (IN MOURNING) offers force and plenty of expressivity, sometimes a little more than necessary, jumping a little in Death field and leaving the Doom feeling behind.

Anyway, the blending of the guttural low voice and the demoniac one, makes the listener realize that OCTOBER TIDE hasn’t forsaken its 15 year old roots, and hasn’t incorporated too much modern or commercial elements into the mix. The first song “A Custodian of Science”, reveals a flawless musical concept as well as interpretation, with a lot of breaking of rhythm and diversity, fast parts and slow ones, aggressive vocals and guitar riffs. “Deplorable Request” adopts a more slow approach to the music, a calmer instrumentation and some incredible sounding guitars and unusual passages which color up the song. “The Nighttime Project” is an instrumental sequence very well elaborated, but which repeats during the end the same accords that grew friendly to the listener. Maybe the voice could have hidden this detail, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s only a 4 minute song. The most strong and lively song seems to be “Blackness Devours”, where Tobias’s voice communicates perfectly with the guitars, while Fred’s solo remind me of KATATONIA. “The Dividing Line” is a song that stands out with nothing, even the voice is pretty average and one can easily think of the standard OPETH sound. Is more of a sort of Swedish Death Metal with Progressive Metal touches and that’s it. “Fragile” reveals a more tender side because of the beautiful guitars plus a sound in the vein of “Rain Without End” – making this song a strong point of the album. Maybe Tobias’s voice should have been more flexible, but nevertheless it’s a remarkable song.

The last song of the album “Scorned”, is an extremely slow one, featuring repetitive passages and a voice that likes to show us its extreme qualities, a rather disappointing aspect since I would have really enjoyed some clean interludes. Interesting album, probably, awaited avidly by many, waking up nostalgic memories in many veterans and maybe opening new perspectives for the younger crowd. Clearly, this album doesn’t shine like the first album, but it’s more solid than the second. I can’t wait to see them in Bucharest, especially since they are going to perform some legendary tracks, maybe even “12 Days Of Rain”?