Album Review – Black Tide – Post Mortem

Band: Black Tide

Album Name: Post Mortem

Release Date: August 23rd 2011

By now, it’s safe to say that Black Tide have made a name for themselves, and despite being quite young (frontman Gabriel Garcia having just turned 18) caused a pretty big stir in the rock world with their almost speed metal-esque debut album “Light From Above” back in the fourth quarter of 2008. Now, just under 4 years later, Black Tide have returned to display not only a slightly edited approach but also a new form of maturity to their music, which some may find slightly strange.

Probably the biggest difference from “Light From Above” is that the speed/thrash metal influence and atmosphere has almost disappeared aside from the midtemp-ode “Walking Dead Man” most of the songs seem to have a more controlled approach, featuring calmer and groovier riffs that could almost be made comparable to Breaking Benjamin. That being said, there’s still plenty of shredding and impressive guitar work displayed by frontman Gabriel Garcia and the recently added Austin Diaz (taking over for Alex Nunez) on tracks such as “Honest Eyes” and “That Fire.”  Lyrically, this is Black Tide at their strongest, with Gabriel Garcia being able to showcase just how much he has grown as both a writer and a vocalist since 2008. Having added both harsher clean vocals and even some screamed lyrics in the case of “Walking Dead Man”, it can be said and hoped that Garcia’s vocal repertoire will continue to grow with time.

That being said, Post Mortem” did raise a few question marks upon my first listening. Although the absence of the thrash approach is a prominant display of the band’s control, in the cases of tracks such as “Let it Out” and “Into the Sky” are missing that grit and ferocity that the band displays on other tracks on the record. Other tracks are kind of 50/50, as in they almost sound like Black Tide, but they fall short, such as “Fight ‘Till The Bitter End” which raises hopes with it’s groovey and fist-pump inducing intro, reminiscent of 3 Doors Down and Hoobstank etc. ,but seems to disappoint due to a lack guitar and gritty vocals. However, the calmness of the track seems to work, and the tracks building and diminishing dynamic structure only enhance Black Tide’s new found sense of maturity.Given the amount of time that Black Tide took between albums, I think it’s safe to say that we expected a little more isall, with the album’s release having been delayed twice over the past yer.

With that said, there’s still tracks on this album that are enjoyable and display the potential that Black Tide have to become one of the forerunners, with “Ashes (Featuring Bullet for My V alentine’s Matt Tuck) , “Let It Out”, “Honest Eyes” , “That Fire”, “Walking Dead Man” and “Fight ‘Till The Better” displaying that Black Tide are far from dead. It may however just take longer than expected for these young rockers to release their stellar,set-in-stone, one big song record. In short “Post Mortem” is really a “die-hards only” album. If you aren’t a fan of Black Tide, or are new to them, then this record isn’t for you. But, who knows, maybe these songs will grow with more listens, we shall have to see. I”m giving Post Mortem” a rating of:

7.5/10

As you feel from this record that Black Tide were close, just not close enough.

*PS: I didn’t do this in the last review, but that’s because there really was no need to, here however it’s different haha

Strongest Tracks

Walking Dead Man

That Fire

Ashes (Feat. Matthew Tuck of Bullet For My Valentine)

Honest Eyes

Fight ‘Till The Bitter End

Weakest Tracks

Into The Sky

Bury Me

Take It Easy

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