Rating:
8.3
October Tide - Tunnel Of No Light
25 March 2013


01. Of Wounds To Come
02. Our Constellation
03. Emptiness Fulfilled
04. Caught In Silence
05. The Day I Dissolved
06. Watching The Drowners
07. In Hopeless Pursuit
08. Adoring Ashes


Light is a lost hope and all encompassing darkness is an expectation from the music of bands such as Swallow The Sun and Daylight Dies. As you might guess from the title much the same can be said of October Tide with their latest album, Tunnel Of No Light, which is of a similar bleak temperament. Their second release since resurfacing with A Thin Shell in 2010, they continue in the tradition of soul leeching melodic death/doom harkening to roots which are well fed off the sound of an early Katatonia.

As a prior member of Katatonia guitarist Frederik Norrman continues to characterize such a resemblance within October Tide's gloomy atmosphere with bittersweet guitar lines, accompanied here by brother Mattias as his bass reverberates throughout the darkness. The drums provide the downtrodden beat of tracks like the damned yet determined "Caught In Silence" and the dual guitars form the closely confined walls of this ill-fated tunnel.

The album loses its consistency at times as it falls into a bitter drudging which leaves behind gaunt passages which seem to fester between the slow expansion of melodies without being fully engaging. Such moments are often remedied and poignantly memorable moments are on offer which linger long after listening. For instance the end of the initially effective "Our Constellation" feels like a long time coming, it being the lengthier of the tracks, but when it does "Emptiness Fulfilled" bursts impressionably through the gloom. Or witness the doom stretched melody of "In Hopeless Pursuit", featuring heavy repetition with backing whispers toward the end, which reaches an anti-climactic state before the guitars finally lift the song away.

The growls of Högbom are of a staunchly death metal style and he shows considerable ability to adapt to the sound here from the brutal vocal work he provides for Volturyon. Quite a stylistic jump for any vocalist to make and as such his delivery here is not without its blemishes as his higher end snarls can give the impression of not being as enmeshed within the mix as well as his more guttural lines. Yet such a varied approach adds just that much more diversity and often where it is most sorely needed.

Overall this is another satisfying addition to the band's studio output. Satisfying in the sense that it will draw you down into a listenable darkness which requires a number of visits to fully grasp just how gloomy things are as you pass through this Tunnel Of No Light.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: October Tide
Album: Tunnel Of No Light


 



Written on 25.03.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Merchant of Doom - 27.03.2013 at 17:45  
Good album (maybe the rating is a tad too high for me), but it gets somewhat repetitive and unfocussed here and there. I enjoyed it, though, and would recommend it to fans of solid and melodic death/doom. Great vocals too. Better than previous effort, IMO.
R'Vannith - 29.03.2013 at 07:36  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 27.03.2013 at 17:45

Good album (maybe the rating is a tad too high for me), but it gets somewhat repetitive and unfocussed here and there. I enjoyed it, though, and would recommend it to fans of solid and melodic death/doom. Great vocals too. Better than previous effort, IMO.


The main problem for me is that some of the doomier segments can seem particularly uninteresting in comparison with when things get more melodic. I wouldn't say it gets repetitive often, at least in a way that makes it seem boring, but I'd agree it does lose its focus at points.
Merchant of Doom - 30.03.2013 at 00:37  
Yes, I agree... the actual doomy moments are the most boring... , but the melodic ones are brilliant and I love the growls...

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