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Source of Tide - "Blueprints" (CD)

Source of Tide - "Blueprints" CD cover image

"Blueprints" track listing:

1. Static Development (5:21)
2. Humanism (4:19)
3. Tales of Fruition (4:03)
4. Serenade of Silence (3:02)
5. Enslaved by Principles (5:53)
6. Bravery 1999 (1:19)
7. Decleration (4:04)
8. Bravery 2000 (2:08)
9. Ruins of Beauty ode to the art of self destruction (7:07)
10. The Retaliation of a Misanthrope (5:34)
11. Revolt Future (4:07)
12. Blueprint... (3:30)
13. ...Remembrance (3:56)

Reviewed by on June 26, 2008

"Staying within the safe boundaries of one defined classification of metal is simply anathema to Source of Tide."

The beginning of Blueprint’s opening track, "Static Development," gives off a definite sludge or doom metal vibe with a drawn out, low tuned guitar, slow percussion, and a deceptively familiar simple death growl. This initial impression is then immediately shattered when the low tuned guitars melt into a modern heavy metal riff backed by hypnotically systematic keyboards, which effortlessly keep constant pace with the guitar, all of which is punctuated by a raspy shout that is a polar opposite of the death growl heard previously. Staying within the safe boundaries of one defined classification of metal is simply anathema to Source of Tide. No less than eight distinctly different vocal styles can be heard on "Blueprints," and each resonates with the tone of the album perfectly.

"Avant Garde" is probably the closest thing to a label that could be applied to "Blueprints," with its constantly shifting style and the way in which it takes elements of other genres and makes them entirely its own. The second track, "Humanism," has echoes of both Peccatum and later Emperor, with its eccentric sound effects, screeching vocals, and sudden switches to clean singing. The occasional resemblance to Peccatum should come as no surprise as vocalist and song writer Lord PZ was involved with Peccatum and is related to both of the other members of that band, Ihriel and Ihsahn. "Serenade of Silence" generates an electronic and industrial framework that wouldn’t be out of place in a Nine Inch Nails album if Trent Reznor made music that was a little heavier. "Bravery 1999" has a disturbing and nightmarish ambience that resembles cello based group Rasputina in their creepier moments. "Enslaved by Principles" is a relentless tour of prog, rock opera, and symphonic black metal that is nearly breathtaking in its scope. Those who have been lucky enough to stumble upon Devil Doll will also hear a good dose of influence from that mythically elusive band.

"Blueprints" takes many of the staples of Norwegian extreme metal and turns them directly on their heads. Rather than invoking the Lovecraftian unknowable cosmic terror of the universe, it reveals a terrifyingly sane reality with no lurking darkness other than what people create for themselves in their daydreams. Instead of calling upon the pagan gods of the past, "Blueprints" proposes an odd but somehow inspirational spirituality that is a sort of reverse Satanism in which personal change is achieved by denying one’s divinity rather than encouraging a connection to the divine. No calls to transcend mortality into a higher state of consciousness will be found here, only a statement that what were once world altering evolutions to new belief systems and ways of thinking have been discarded in the past for yet newer still belief systems, and that this cycle will continue until mankind finds its inevitable end.

Attempting to integrate numerous disparate styles into a single concoction could have easily led to an embarrassing calamity, but Source of Tide pulls it off in such a way that "Blueprints" is one of the few albums that truly deserves to be praised as innovative and revolutionary.

Highs: Takes the best parts of a variety of metal styles and combines them into one amazing whole

Lows: The frequent shifts in style can occasionally become distracting

Bottom line: A truly innovative and revolutionary album that should be heard by everyone at least once

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)