October Tide - Rain Without End review

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Band: October Tide
Album: Rain Without End
Release date: 1997

01. 12 Days Of Rain
02. Ephemeral
03. All Painted Cold
04. Sightless
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.

Written by Sleep In Sorrow | 16.10.2005


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 150 users
01.06.2007 - 05:44
Advice Troll
What an amazing album! It popped out during the short break up of Katatonia in 1995 and is in the spirit of "Brave Murder Day" and "The Discouraged Ones"! I think this tells much about the quality of this release. Amazing stuff, amazing guitar riffs and amazing atmosphere! It's a masterpiece!
I wish I can find this somewhere. There are some pieces on e-bay but their price is way over $ 60!!!
It's also "Jonas Renkse" last performance with harsh vocals...
Too bad they only released two albums. Amazing stuff!
Bitch! Please
22.04.2008 - 02:54
This is taken from VIC Records site : "Dan Swano is currently remastering the legendary October Tide debut 'Rain Without End'(...) The remastered album will have brand new cover artwork and will be re-released somewhere next year."
For what i read in other sites it seems the re-release will be this year.

Stay metal.Stay dark
28.01.2009 - 22:51
Funny, I haven't seen any re-release.

However, I'm just starting to know October Tide and, although they have only two albums, my first thoughts about this stuff are quite good.
28.01.2009 - 22:59
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Ragana on 28.01.2009 at 22:51

Funny, I haven't seen any re-release.

However, I'm just starting to know October Tide and, although they have only two albums, my first thoughts about this stuff are quite good.

The re-release has been released cause I have it
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

06.05.2009 - 23:18
Jason W.
I just received the remastered edition now (first time it's ever been released in the US officially, according to the sticker) - and this is the first time I've given it a proper listen - no more pathetically ripped mp3s. And really what a great album, and this is a proper review for it. I like how you point out it sounds similar, yet indifferent to "Brave Murder Day" and "Dance..." because I feel the same way. The remastering on this album is perfect, unlike my "remastered" edition of Brave Murder Day, which is a more like a "volume increase" than a remaster.

If you see this album, buy it - the only thing that's regrettable is yet again the lyrics are not printed.
"After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley

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