Black Tide have been on my radar since long before their first album, Light From Above, even hit the market. I was lucky to see them on Ozzfest 2011 as a main-stage opener, and count myself a huge fan ever since. You may recall from my review of their first album that I thought they were a very talented, young band that needed perhaps a bit more direction to their style. What direction that might be was anyone's guess.
With release of Post-Mortem, they give us more direction. Listening to this album I can tell these guys have been spending time on tour with bands like Bullet for My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Escape the Fate, Seether, and All That Remains. In the vocal department, Black Tide embrace a harsher approach on many songs. Hardcore screams are much more prominent on this album compared to their debut. Bullet for My Valentine's Matt Tuck even appears as a guest vocalist on the song 'Ashes'. However, melodic singing has not vanished either. A melodic vocal style is present in every song to maintain the band's catchy style they were so known for on their debut.
Not to be overlooked, they also add a few ballads on this album. Sometimes these are like a modern power-ballad, like 'Fight 'Til the Bitter End'. Others, like 'Take it Easy' are simply a romantic melodic metal song. The closing number 'Into the Sky', although the softest offering on the album, is really about mourning the loss of a loved one. A touching way to close another solid effort by these young metal-heads.
In any case these softer songs add a much-needed sense of variety into the mix for this album. Combined with the harsher elements in the vocal style, this is practically an all-together new formula for this young band. As I mentioned earlier, they may have been under the influence of their recent tour-mates while writing this album. Black Tide's sound has become more trendy as a result. While they might adhere more succinctly to the melodic-metalcore genre with this album, it comes at the expense of some of the originality they displayed on their debut. As hard as it is to survive in the music industry these days, I give Black Tide props for finding a niche they seem well-suited for. Still, I hold to my belief that they have not yet reached their full potential. This is truly a band to watch closely over the next several years. They could linger in this comfort-zone for quite some time, but they are equally capable of giving us something new and different, or old-school and classic on their next album. Wherever they may go, it is certain that Black Tide are well on their way to becoming a significant metal band of the current generation.
For now, lets enjoy the highlights of Post-Mortem while we can. Here are my favorites:
-Ashes (Featuring Matt Tuck from Bullet For My Valentine)
-Honest Eyes (My true favorite on this release. Cool guitar effects, heavy and catchy)
-Fight 'Til the Bitter End (A heavy ballad. This song is so catchy it would make a great Bullet For My Valentine song, but Black Tide wrote it first...)
-Walking Dead Man (The heaviest song on the album. They're really taking a page from some of their peers on this one!)
-Into the Sky