October Tide - A Thin Shell
Melodic Doom/Death
7 songs (42:14)
Release year: 2010
October Tide, Candlelight
Reviewed by Goat

Having departed Katatonia at the seeming height of their success with Night Is The New Day, Fredrik Norman resurrected October Tide, a Doomier, even more miserable side-project whose first album bored my colleague Thomas senseless back when he reviewed it in early 2009. Norman is the only original member of the band, members of the excellent In Mourning, Amaran and Scar Symmetry rounding out the line-up, and it’s fair to say that I wasn’t bored at all, although neither was I especially impressed. Mixing Swedish death and atmospheric doom with an invocation of melody, the songs here have decent variety, reminiscent of a harder, darker Katatonia with a sense of Opeth-ian drama. Opener A Custodian Of Science gets stuck in immediately, slow melodies swirling behind the upfront and in-your-face deep growl of Tobias Netzell. It takes the following Deplorable Request to really get into the album’s stride, touching on catchiness as the melancholic atmosphere invites the listener deeper in, pausing for some melodious ambience before returning to violence for the song’s last few minutes.

From then on, the album’s a mixed bag. The Nighttime Project is, rather oddly at that point in the tracklisting, an instrumental, starting slowly and melodically, and not really going anywhere despite some intriguing percussion and mild psychedelic effects. Vocals return on the following Blackness Devours, a rather dull track that is instantly forgotten when the following The Dividing Line comes around. This is where the band empty their (limited) box of tricks, filling the track full of great riffs and sounding something like a cross between Bloodbath and Opeth. Fragile is a decent track, Doom-Death by the numbers until the solo towards the end where it takes on a more atmospheric turn, and the closing Scorn is much the same. And that’s it! It’s not the longest Doom album ever, not the most headbangable, nor the most atmospheric. Yet what it does, it does decently for the most part, and those fans who appreciate the band’s earlier albums will find much to enjoy here too. Everyone else will get a few underwhelming listens out of this, but far better exists elsewhere. Nice artwork, though.

Killing Songs :
Deplorable Request, The Dividing Line
Goat quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by October Tide that we have reviewed:
October Tide - Winged Waltz reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
October Tide - Tunnel of No Light reviewed by Alex and quoted 81 / 100
October Tide - Rain Without End reviewed by Thomas and quoted 62 / 100
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