Black Tide - Light From Above (2008) Dec 20, 2009 2:35:49 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Dec 20, 2009 2:35:49 GMT -5
I ran across Black Tide through Amazon's recommendations, and I thought I'd listen to the song samples. I didn't know anything at all about the band (I hadn't even heard of them at that point), but I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. So much so that I ordered the CD. I'm glad that I did.
While Light From Above is certainly nothing groundbreaking, it is a good, straightforward Heavy Metal album firmly rooted in the mid 1980's. What makes that interesting is that the band members were all in their late teens when they wrote and recorded this album.
Taking influences equqally from Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Motley Crue, Zakk Wylde era Ozzy Osbourne, and even later Saxon (from the way some of the songs sound), Black Tide has come up with an American/European hybrid sound that works really well. They sound young (because they were young when they recorded the album), but they don't sound as immature as one would imagine a group of guys in their late teens should.
Black Tide isn't the next Metallica or Megadeth. I don't think that's their goal, anyway. There are too many Motley Crue (and Exposed era Vince Neil) influences evident in their sound to think that they are looking to just be that type of band. Light From Above has melodies and hooks that are really, really strong. The riffs are old school, but sound vibrant and fresh thanks to the energy that the band brings to the table.
For old school Metal fans what may be the coolest thing about Light From Above may be the fact that it has something of a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal vibe and sound. I don't know if these guys actually listened to old Saxon or Diamond Head (or the Tygers of Pan Tang for that matter), but there are riffs and melodies here and there on the album that would fit right in with those groups back in 1981 or 1982.
Singer Gabriel Garcia is just that - a singer. He isn't a screamer or a growler. He sounds a bit like a young Sebastian Bach (not quite as strong, but he has a similar voice - somewhere in between Bach and Shout At The Devil era Vince Neil). The band is fairly tight and plays with surprising finesse - they sound like a band that has been around a little longer than these guys had prior to recording this album.
The audio production on the album is pretty good. Clean, crisp, but still clearly on the low budget side the sounds on the album match the songs really well.
For fans of early to mid 80's Heavy Metal (not the Pop Metal that took over MTV in the mid 80's, but more of the old school Heavy Metal), Light From Above will be a breath of fresh air. For those people who aren't fans of that stuff, well, this would be an album to avoid.