Saturday 6 April 2013

October Tide - Tunnel Of No Light (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 25/3/2013
Label : Pulverised Records
 Tunnel of No Light, album tracklisting:
1) Of Wounds To Come 6:27
2) Our Constellation 8:37
3) Emptiness Fulfilled 7:11
4) Caught In Silence 4:45
5) Watching The Drowners 4:58
6) The Day I Dissolved 5:19
7) In Hopeless Pursuit 7:38
8) Adoring Ashes 7:03
OCTOBER TIDE originated with a 1995 demo tape created by KATATONIA members Jonas Renkse and Fred Norrman. Much of the material was written during a break-up of KATATONIA (which would end up being only temporary). In 1997 the two signed to VIC Records to release their debut, "Rain Without End". In 1999 OCTOBER TIDE would release their second and last album entitled "Grey Dawn" which had Mårten Hansen (of A CANOROUS QUINTET) replacing Renkse on vocal duties.

The album received much deserved praise from fans and the media alike. Renkse and Norrman made a decision to not grant interviews nor tour whatsoever, which resulted in short lived public profile. These two albums continue to live on in the underground community and are widely regarded as two treasures to result from the temporary break-up of KATATONIA.

Despite staunchly refusing the notion of future material for an astounding 11 years, OCTOBER TIDE returned in 2010 with ”A Thin Shell”, a new full-length masterpiece released through Candlelight Records.

Recorded at Black Lounge studios with producer Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY) and featuring artwork by Travis Smith (OPETH, TESTAMENT etc) "A Thin Shell" delivers what fans have anxiously awaited from this treasured band. Seven doom-laden and emotive songs that are every bit as heavy as they are catchy fill the impressive recording that officially closes the band’s self-imposed, decade-long hiatus.

After the release of “A Thin Shell” the band toured heavily playing shows and festivals from Finland in the north to Spain in the south and from Ireland in the west to Slovenia in the east.

In early 2012 OCTOBER TIDE parted ways with both the vocalist and bassist due to family and musical reasons and new members in form of Mattias Norrman (ex-KATATONIA) and Alexander Högbom (VOLTURYON, SPASMODIC) were quickly recruited.

Some weeks during the fall 2012 were spent at Black Lounge studios recording ”Tunnel of no Light”, OCTOBER TIDE’s anticipated fourth album which will be released in early 2013 through the bands new label home, Pulverised Records

Line up:
Alexander Högbom - vocals
Fredrik Norrman - guitars
Robin Bergh - drums
Emil Alstermark - guitars
Mattias Norrman - bass


October Tide feature within their arsenal elements of more traditional metal, some doom and the odd splash of death metal, primarily in the vocal area. Initially an offshoot of the highly revered Katatonia, the group is now a full time focus. Up for inspection is their new album 'Tunnel of No Light'. It's pretty bleak as the title would suggest, but then the best heavy stuff usually is. It wouldn't work if it was all about flower arranging.
The most obvious standout here is the guitar work; it's easily a selling point and the group knows it. The leads sore and are effortless. This occurs throughout album opener 'Of Wounds to Come', which is packed full of exploratory and powerful flourishes in the six-string department, all aptly backed up by a rhythm section that is just as confident and competent. It's a real statement of intent. This is definitely  the sound of some seasoned veterans at work.
'Emptiness Fulfilled' contains some of the dark elements that have made old allegiances so successful, and so beloved. Completely forlorn and desperately moody, the music lends great weight to the vocals. Those leads are once again the driving force behind the feel, and are just as powerful and moving when they are slight in their touch as when they are leading the assault. A great track in its entirety that has a lot to offer.
'The Day I Dissolved' is a sinister piece that continues the brooding aesthetic set out earlier in the album. It never reaches above a pace that could only be described as funereal in nature, and the pure doom influences shine (excuse the descriptive). Everything reaches a peak here; guitar, drum, bass and vocals achieve perfect harmony in pursuing this style. It is anything but a by-the-numbers ordeal. This can be held up as a fine example of how metal should be played. A standout track among many standouts.
'Tunnel of No Light' is an excellent new LP. Highly skilled and classically executed, any fan of the European school of metal in all of it's many forms should investigate forthwith, whether they are familiar with the history of Katatonia or not. I'd wager that you would be anything but disappointed. If I had three thumbs, I would raise them all. Go grab yourself a copy.
Words by : Matt Fitton 

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here. For fans of Katatonia, Daylight Dies, In Mourning, Swallow The Sun, etc!  Release Date: Europe via PHD: 25th March 2013; U.S.A. via RED: 16th April 2013