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Black Tide - "Light From Above" (CD)

Black Tide - "Light From Above" CD cover image

"Light From Above" track listing:

1. Shockwave (3:38)
2. Shout (3:26)
3. Warriors of Time (5:53)
4. Give Me a Chance (3:34)
5. Let Me (3:30)
6. Show Me the Way (3:59)
7. Enterprise (4:31)
8. Live Fast Die Young (3:01)
9. Hit the Lights (Metallica cover) (3:42)
10. Black Abyss (4:06)
11. Light From Above (5:46)

Reviewed by on August 31, 2008

"The vocals sound great, ripping through the mostly upbeat melodies with 80’s thrash style. The metal anthems, sound fresh and retro at the same time."

Released in mid-March, Black Tide has taken the right steps toward success with their debut “Light From Above.” Performing with many proven successful bands such as Bullet for my Valentine, Disturbed, and Slipknot, Black Tide has been on a high road to fame, and they haven’t even hit 21 years of age.

Black Tide’s sound is influenced by many 80’s hair metal bands and thrash favorites. Although their sound can be considered retro, they bring clean production, catchy riffs, and melodic tones that won’t be quite categorized as a thrash album, but more likely pop thrash/rock n roll. The vocals sound great, ripping through the mostly upbeat melodies with 80’s thrash style. The metal anthems, especially in the track “Warriors of Time,” sound fresh and retro at the same time; you might be brought back to a time your parents were singing along to “Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest.

The production is crisp and glass-clear. The producer Johnny K, of Disturbed fame, takes care of this band not sounding too retro, but only dipping here and there when need be to mark past influences. The guitars are up front, but they do step back to give the vocals their due. The songs aren’t epic and the song writing is written for catchiness. The album opener, "Shockwave," hits the mark with a spitfire fast tempo and lays down exactly where this album is going. Although some tracks may bore with the repetitive, easy formula of verse, chorus, and solo, Black Tide makes it fun with production-added sounds. They include a cover of Metallica’s “Hit The Lights,” which Black Tide makes their own from the start. They do it their own style and it works great.

Fans of old-school thrash should definitely give these guys a chance. Its not purely metal by any means, but it’s got grooves, hooks, and solos to make you careless. This may be a direction for new school thrash to take. Black Tide has shown how skilled musicians can make even repetitious thrash metal sound new. Fans of alternative/hard rock bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Soil, and Disturbed should be intrigued.

Highs: Great guitar riffs, solos, and hooks. Catchy songwriting, brings new clarity to old school thrash influences.

Lows: Not entirely metal sounding - more of a hard rock/rock n roll feel throughout.

Bottom line: Most fans of old school thrash, hard rock and alternative won't get blown away, but will enjoy what they hear.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)