We often think hard rock and metal music are no boundary genres. This assumption is primarily due to the musician stereotype of the 80s and 90s, where the more drugs and alcohol consumed, the harder the artist rocked. Well, those decades are long gone and rock and metal music are now becoming “fence free” for the right reasons. These grounds involve a band’s limitless sound, not their drug supply. We tip our hats off to Black Tide for affirming the previous statement with their sophomore release, “Post Mortem”.
We have been following the Florida quartet’s “Post Mortem” journey for quite some time and have been relaying the information to you Shockya readers. In case, you have skipped over these Black Tide posts, which we highly stress not to, we will give you a brief recap on the band’s bio. The rock group consists of vocalist and lead guitarist, Gabriel Garcia, bassist, Zakk Sandler, drummer, Steven Spence and guitarist, Austin Diaz. In 2008, Black Tide dropped their debut album, “Light From Above” and as with most debuts, the vocals and instrumental sounds were there, but the band needed time and experience to better sculpt the sounds. We have high hopes that their sophomore release will prove that theory.
“Post Mortem” drops this Tuesday, August 23rd, via DGC/Interscope Records. The group has given listeners a taste of their diverse sound with the singles, “Bury Me”, “Walking Dead Man”, “Honest Eyes”, “That Fire” and “Let It Out”. Pleased with every instrumental and vocal aspect of these tunes, you can only imagine how elated we were when the entire album fell into our laps a week before it drops. With the ten tracks off of “Post Mortem” uploaded to our iTunes music library, we immediately wanted to go straight to these already released songs. We were eager to re-listen to these singles because we still felt there were elements we had yet to decipher, but we chose to go against our musical cravings and check out “Post Mortem” in track order.
The lead track, “Ashes”, which features Bullet For My Valentine’s Matt Tuck, opens up with an impeccable instrumental arrangement of pure rock aggression. The angst can be felt and the melodic guitar rifts can be heard. This description is what separates an immature band from a mature one. The “teenage” groups have a sound that is compiled of emotion and rhythm, but the two parts often blend into each other and muddle the band’s overall tone. “Ashes” immediately showcases that Black Tide has transitioned to the adult stage of life. The opener is dark compared to the rest of the tunes off the album due to the heavy beat of the drums, bass and guitar. Despite these hostile undertones, Garcia’s vocals push through on the chorus and keep “Ashes” fully lit till its completion.
“Fight Til The Bitter End” lightens up the album’s palette. Garcia sings in a passionate, but more laidback manner. He hits notes that sound similar to the high rock octaves sung by our beloved, Coheed and Cambria. With the instrumental rage subdued, most of the listeners’ attention is directed to these pitch perfect vocals and the track’s lyrics. Also, taking a more passive route is the “Post Mortem” closing track, “Into The Sky”. We have a pattern of falling for rock ballads and Black Tide’s “Into The Sky” has helped keep our habit alive. The track consists of Garcia’s vocals and a guitar; nothing more is needed. The abrasiveness in his vocals has vanished, leaving a vulnerable side of Garcia that we are effortlessly drawn to. Black Tide can be generalized as a rock band, but these slower-paced tunes highlight the band’s ability to branch out beyond the badass imagery of rock and metal groups and show an authentic soft side.
Let’s make one more stop before we draw “Post Mortem” to a close. The tune, “Lost In The Sound”, does exactly as the title reads. The opening guitar sequence reminds us of a rift that could fit into just about any track from the Broadway show, “Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark”. Maybe some instrumental sounds from Black Tide is all the show needed to amp up its less than memorable music. The shredding rifts are well accompanied by Garcia’s quickened vocals. His singing and the band’s instrumental sounds display a variety of rhythmic arrangements throughout the tune, which keeps “Lost In The Sound” potent from start to finish.
You shouldn’t even be questioning whether to purchase “Post Mortem” or not. You also can’t just buy one song off the album and call it quits. Black Tide’s sophomore album is a story of musical creativity and can serve as a “how to keep the juices flowing from track one and on” guideline for aspiring rock bands.
Black Tide will be smoothly sailing the rock waves with “Post Mortem”.
by Lonnie Nemiroff