Total Playing Time: 43:51
Fredrik “North” Norrman returns with OCTOBER TIDE, three years after the release of their previous album, “Winged Waltz”. Since then, the Swedish Doom/Death Metal band has had to deal with some line-up changes, recording the entry of a new rhythm section – bassist Johan Jönsegård and drummer Jonas Sköld, both from Letters From The Colony band – and the passage of Mattias Norrman to the second guitar. The two brothers (famous also for their past experience in KATATONIA), this time they find themselves pairing and managing the direction of their musical material. In the music of OCTOBER TIDE the guitar has always stood out as the main thing and this new album demonstrates how it is up to those who master this instrument..
Although, at first, the instrumental progressions may sound like a simple continuation of what has been undertaken on the aforementioned “Winged Waltz”, with a nervous gait and a thin vein prog to soil the more melodic inclinations, as you go into listening, you also recognize that narrative aspect and the pure desperation that had characterized the early trials of the Scandinavians. More or less consciously, on “In Splendor Below” OCTOBER TIDE arrive to make some small leaps in time, punctuating the verve and the rudest trends of recent times with some melancholy in the air, reminiscent of the dear old (to me) ‘90s.
The quintet flirts with various periods of their career, dusts off some typical “cascade” guitar tour and the result is an altogether most emotional record than the last studio tests: heavy at the base, never exactly catchy, but at times exposing the inner pain in a more limpid way. This time without neglecting a reflexive vein attributable to the first two full-length ΚΑΤΑΤΟΝΙΑ albums.
In particular, I’m sure that songs full of bitterness like “Stars Starve Me” and “Guide My Pulse” will immediately win over the most nostalgic fans, even if it must be reiterated that it is all “In Splendor Below” to prove a balanced job and always adequately inspired. Closing, we are faced with a pleasant confirmation that OCTOBER TIDE becomes one of the longest running formations in the world’s Doom/Death Metal scene.