Black Tide – Chasing Shadows

blacktidepic_RingMaster Review

Miami trio Black Tide this month follow-up their well-received second album Post Mortem with Chasing Shadows, for their fans a long overdue successor which they will find makes the wait endured more than worth it. An accomplished blaze of craft and adventure, the release without starting major fires of uniqueness is Black Tide doing what they do best, unleashing rousing roars of highly flavoursome and varied heavy rock /melodic metal enterprise.

Formed in 2003 by vocalist/bassist Gabriel Garcia with drummer brother Raul, Black Tide went through subsequent line-up changes, drums included, before releasing debut album Light from Above on Interscope in 2008, with Garcia only fifteen at this point. Recorded with Johnny K (Disturbed, Machine Head, Soil), the album’s recording was the trigger to quickly bigger things including the band playing alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God, and Static-X on the main stage at OZZfest 2007, and post release, an appearance on the inaugural Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot and Disturbed as well as playing the main stage of 2008’s Download festival. Post Mortem appeared in 2011 to continuing acclaim and success for Black Tide, its release followed by the band’s hunger to play live and tour filling subsequent years. Now guitarist/vocalist Austin Diaz and drummer Cody Paige alongside Garcia are poised to awaken new keen appetites and their album’s storming body of fierce rock ‘n’ roll, to which expectations of more success coming the way of the band easy.

btamend_RingMaster Review     From an engagingly melodic Intro which emulates the opening to many metal releases today in its own imagination sparking way, the album erupts to full life with Guidelines. A hefty punch of drum sticks is the spark to weaving tendrils of enterprise from Diaz before a darkly strolling bassline and crisp rhythms join the already open vocal prowess of Garcia backed as potently by Diaz. Soon striding resourcefully with a My Chemical Romance meets Avenged Sevenfold like drama to its increasingly magnetic weave of diverse metal bred styles, the song provides an impressive full start to the album, quickly getting ears and thoughts fully involved and eager to know more about at the same time.

Recently released single Angel In The Dark steps forward next, its captivating body similarly designed and textured but with its own host of sonic swagger and fiery hooks against again powerful vocals. Major surprises are scarce yet a freshness and energetic passion to the song ensures satisfaction is as ripe as the sounds flowing through its skilfully sculpted and presented proposal. An acoustic aside adds to the richness of the song, adventure never low on the agenda of band and album, as shown again by the pair of Predator (Animal) and Burn. The first of the two rides in on baying wolves, quickly spinning a spicy web of guitar lined with tangy meandering grooves. Without making the same kind of immediate impact as the previous two tracks, the song still firmly and increasingly captures the imagination with an enticing blend of grooved and stringed blessed rock ‘n’ roll, eventually outshining its successor, a mellower melodic caress with pungent rhythms and a gripping central Bond like hook entwined in orchestral and harmonic tempting.

At times, and often, the song spellbinds but does lack the same overall spark as found in those before it. The same applies to the album’s title track though its classic metal meets modern rock canter ensures enjoyment still remains high especially as it increasingly swings with energy and technical flair. To be fair, both tracks become more compelling with each play, maybe providing food for expectations but leaving pleasure in their wake which the likes of Before We Form and Sex Is Angry revel in and prolong with their individual collusion of rock and metal honed with infectious imagination and emotion.

That catchy virulence which flows through Chasing Shadows finds a rich vehicle in Welcome To Misery, the song a sing-a-long anthem which quickly has its way with the listener’s ears and involvement. Seemingly simple in its lure, such its infectiousness, the song almost belies the layers and textures aligning to drive its persuasion, a craft in songwriting and sound more open in the alluring croon of Heaven and its warm ballad of emotive vocal and tender musical craft. Melancholic, tangy, and classically lined with great strings and orchestration, the song is an endearing and lingering offering which finally has to make way for the closing stomp of Promised Land, a song which though different in character, ends the album the way it started, with a raucously tenacious slice of Avenged Sevenfold scented, Bullet for My Valentine fuelled enterprise.

As suggested, Black Tide has not returned with a game changer for them or metal but Chasing Shadows will leave few heavy/melodic metal fans dissatisfied or lacking a spring in their step after facing its roar.

Chasing Shadows is out via Pavement Entertainment on October 16th with pre-orders still @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/black-tide-chasing-shadows-cd-pre-order/

https://www.facebook.com/blacktide/

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

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