October Tide - Grey Dawn review
|Release date:||November 1999|
01. Grey Dawn
02. October Insight
03. Sweetness Dies
04. Heart Of The Dead
06. Lost In The Dark - And Then Gone
07. Into Deep Sleep
08. Dear Sun
I've always felt this album has been overlooked when compared to October Tide's first album "Rain Without End." While that album is absolutely saturated with the same melancholic atmosphere that can be found on Katatonia's early releases, this album presents something more.
What I really love about this album is how uncomfortable it makes me feel. It is laden with dissonance; jarring melodies wind through each song with only very occasional relief. What's more, this dissonance is perfectly executed, so the music doesn't suffer from feeling too chaotic or messy. The effect this produces is incredible: not only does the album carry the same melancholic quality as its predecessor, but it is also very unsettling.
Mårten Hansen's harsh, disquieting vocals sit perfectly with the music, bringing a hint of desperation. The production adds to this atmosphere as well with the slightly harsh guitar tone and tight drums coming through strong in the mix, making the dissonance the focal point of the music. The fact that the production isn't too "clean" only heightens the mood of the album, adding to the raw quality of the music. In terms of consistency, each song is wonderfully dark. However, if I were to pick three songs that typify the ethos of the album it would be "October Insight," "Heart of the Dead," and, in particular, the album's acoustic finale "Dear Sun." Each of these songs perfectly describes just how unsettling this album is.
With this album October Tide have created something genuinely dark and bleak, something that accurately portrays the feeling of unhappiness, and yet, at the same time, is still beautiful in its representation of that negativity. There are very few albums that I know of that approach the feeling of having an unrelentlessly bleak mood in such a mature way, and with such understanding. This album is a rare gem and without a doubt one of my favourites.
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