The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






Black Tide's debut was one of my favourite albums of the year and to later get to see the band support Trivium when they toured downunder proved they could also do it live. For such a young band that's an almost unheard of amount of potential... So the really big question is, can they back it up?


I’ve been waiting for this for a long time and the big question is where they go from the excellent debut ‘Light from Above’?


“Ashes” starts off in equal parts power and melody and you immediately know you’re on relatively safe ground. The biggest shock for me is that I’m not immediately blown away – here was a band after all that led first time round with “Shockwave” and to be honest as an opener this isn’t even close.


“Bury Me” that follows, again is OK. It’s melodic, driving thrash but I’m still not getting any of the sound that made Black Tide so unique.


On that first CD they had a sound that was just that little different. Two songs in and I’m wondering if they would prefer if I said they were trying for a sound akin to Bullet For My Valentine maybe going for Trivium-lite?


“Let it Out” is just mediocre nu-rock with a reasonably catchy hook and melodic enough to bother radio, if not for the fact that you’ll forget it as soon as the song is over. So far it’s a far from impressive second release.


“Honest Eyes” that follows though is much more like it, a sound closer to the first album, and when “That Fire” kicks in you know that the band still has it, a deceptively simple riff and some nice driving metal. I’m starting to come round.


“Fight to the Bitter End” is a decent enough song and so is “Take It Easy” but neither really grabs you by the balls, or sets them apart from a lot of what is out there. “Lost in the Sound” too is OK and along the same lines, very Bullet For My Valentine, just really not quite as good to be honest…


“Dead man Walking” ups the screaming and again we’ve got that life and energy back from the first album, great, cool, timeless driving metal, that sadly is not particularly representative of the majority of the songs here, and even though again it lapses into what you might see as ‘Bullet’ territory, it’s just as good this time…


“Into the Sky” with its acoustic intro builds into a great song that is both at once completely out of place and at the same time just what you’d hope they’d do a little more of on here.


“Alone” that follows too whilst in keeping with the same general sound is that that little bit quirkier, a little more original and consequently just better.


“Give Hope” that closes is probably my favourite track here and to be honest this is the only song that really sounds close to what I’d hoped for.


As a whole there are a few imponderables: but mainly the general toning down and the lack of an epic song on the album, when moments like “Warriors of Time” from the debut worked so well it’s a little mystifying.


In the hands of a lesser band this would be a very pleasing album, but after Black Tide’s debut, a few listens in it still feels a little disappointing as it loses a lot of the magic of the debut. Staying that it’s solid by other measures and should please fans of the 'new vampire bands' Like Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold, and maybe even the lovers of the harder stuff.   



By Mark Diggins