October Tide - Rain Without End review
|Album:||Rain Without End|
01. 12 Days Of Rain
03. All Painted Cold
05. Losing Tomorrow
06. Blue Gallery
07. Infinite Submission
Damn, I was surprised to see that nobody has reviewed this album yet... it's surprising considering it's almost 10 years old (actually, it is 10 years old, it was recorded in 95, just not released until 97... but that's not the point), so, well, here I go...
As you may know, October Tide was the side project of Katatonia's vocalist Jonas Renske and guitarist and (at the time) bassist Fredrik Norrman, as well as session musicians (for the violin and keys) and well, Jonas said the reason for which he decided to dissolve this side project was that too many good ideas were being used in this band that would be best used in their main band... and it shows. What we have here is 39 minutes of pure early-Katatonia-like sorrow. At times it kinda reminds me of their demo era, at times of Dance of December Souls, at times of Brave Murder Day... but it's still different from all of these releases. The guitar riffs are beautiful and memorable, heavy at times, melodically soaring at others, all the time with a melancholic feel to them, but still keeping an almost upbeat sound (see the beginning of "All Painted Cold"). There's also the use of acoustic guitars, as well as tempo and structure changes (needless to say, but the songs don't follow a verse chorus verse structure). Oh, yes, and there's the use of a violin and some keyboards (very little, though, don't run away, keyboard haters) too, which adds up to the atmosphere very nicely. Another thing that is pretty amazing are Jonas vocals here... they sound nothing like in Katatonia (even in their demo/debut era). Instead of screaming his lungs out, he uses a low, raspy, pain-ridden ghoul-like growl (though there are a few screams thrown here and there, of course) and they sound awesome.
Each and every song here is beautiful and emotional... reviewing it song by song with details would be painful, so I'll try to keep the descriptions short. First of all, though they don't follow a certain structure, they all have similar playing times, clocking in at between 5:36 and 6:40 (save for one song, which I'll talk about later). Second of all, regarding the lyrics, save for "Losing Tomorrow", there're no available lyrics online, so you'll have to trust your ears to see what Jonas is moaning about... which might not be so difficult, after all, since Jonas provides a rather intelligible growl (well, most of the time, I mean)...
The opener "12 Days of Rain" has some kickass guitar work and violin and it's followed by "Ephemeral", which is a bit faster and heavier. Next comes "All Painted Cold", probably the most upbeat song (while still remaining emotional). Then, the follower, "Sightless", is similar to “12 Days of Rain” but has a solo in the end and it's a damn good track. "Losing Tomorrow" could be considered filler (2 mins and half), but it's a damn good filler... so atmospheric and even depressing (there's no guitar, just synths, drumming and Jonas clean echoing voice saying the lyrics). "Blue Gallery", like "Ephemeral", also has some nice heavier and faster moments and the closer "Infinite Submission" is slow and arguably the most emotional song here, as it really expresses the "it's ending" feeling I think an album's closer song should express (Jonas&company are great at making good closers).
All these songs together create a melancholic atmosphere that really reflects the rainy feeling expressed by the album cover and title. My only complaint is that I think this album should be longer... only 39 minutes for a doom album?? Why they didn't add a rerecorded version of the fantastic "To Die From Strength" song from their Promo Tape demo is beyond me.
This is a must have for any fan of Katatonia's early works, who felt desolated knowing they'll never see another Jhva Elohim Meth, Dance of December Souls or Brave Murder Day ever again, and for fans in general of melodic doom/death metal. I also advise to check out their Grey Dawn album, as it's very good too.
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| Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
| Jason W.
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