OCTOBER TIDE – WINGED WALTZ

“To make things perfectly transparent: October Tide’s fifth long-player is a triumph of doom metal supremacy. A firm reference point to where the standards of the genre are at.”

GENRE: Death/Doom Metal
LABEL: Agonia Records
RUNNING TIME: 50:25
COUNTRY: Sweden
YEAR: 2016
LINK: October Tide

TRACKLIST:

  1. Swarm
  2. Sleepless Sun
  3. Reckless Abandon
  4. A Question Ignite
  5. Nursed By The Cold
  6. Lost In Rapture
  7. Perilous
  8. Coffins Of November

REVIEW: October Tide are one of my favorite bands when it comes to death/doom metal music. My exposure towards this band goes back to 1999, when it actually was more of a side project. I’ve played the shit out of “Rain Without End” and “Grey Dawn” and became subsequently grief-stricken when learning that Norrman and Renkse put the project to rest.

Norrman, after his exit from Katatonia in 2009, decided to revive the concept as a full band, releasing the fantastic “A Thin Shell” a year after reforming. “Tunnel Of No Light” was a bit harder to swallow, a bit more on the eclectic side of things but with “Winged Waltz”, October Tide are sitting right at the midpoint of classic era meets compelling progression.

october_tide-winged_waltz
Winged Waltz – Artwork credit: Albin Høgbom

This album goes back to the classic doom-laden, dissonant riffing, those emotive guitar patterns that are so damn effective and delicate weeping leads. I suspect Norrman liberated his experimental side earlier this year through the debut of thenighttimeproject. Although Norrmann creates the music, it definitely feels like a band effort nowadays, whereas “Rain Without End” and “Grey Dawn” had that “studioproject” vibe of two musicians nerding out teenage influences, learning by doing.

“Swarm” and “Sleepless Sun” release free this fifty-minute feast of enveloping chord progressions, dismal growls and doomy melody, touching upon the band’s forlorn qualities of old, while adding fair dosages of midpaced double bass drumwork. “Reckless Abandon” is probably the most metallic song on the album, an album that otherwise has tons of despaired atmospheres, making it the dominating element of heaviness rather than the heavy riffing itself.

octobertide3
October Tide

Norrman is really peaking at doom metal songwriting here, whether it’s a significant arrangement or the smaller finesse, just listen to the lush guitar lead around the two minute mark in “Lost In Rapture” or the darkened wavering of the eight minute “Coffins Of November”, a fantastic doom metal signoff with foreboding poetry, penned by Juha Raivio of Swallow The Sun.

To make things perfectly transparent: October Tide’s fifth long-player is a triumph of doom metal supremacy. A firm reference point to where the standards of the genre are at.

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Review

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