The Swedish Death/Doom Metal group, October Tide originally started out as a side project by Katatonia’s vocalist, Jonas Renkse and their now former guitarist, Fred Norrman nearly 25 years ago. These Scandinavian fellas had some fire behind them but disbanded after they released their second studio album. A decade past and Norrman decided to bring the heat of their Doom Metal goodness back to life. Now OT is ready to release their Sixth studio album, In Splendor Below (Agonia Records) and this band’s melancholy blaze is burning brighter than ever.
The opening track, ‘I, The Polluter’ hits the listener with a foreboding feeling as its sinister sound of deliberate devastation penetrates the ears. The power escorted in by the guitars of Norrman and his brother, Mattias strike hard with a heat that singes the senses. There’s a weight and angst held in their gloomy presentation of Death Metal. The mournful and atmospheric deliverance of sound sets a pensive vibe. The articulate screech from Alexander Högbom projects a desperate and meaningful vision. When he shifts to growls it allows the songs to hit a new, dynamic level full of thought. You really hear the band’s roots on the number, ‘Ögoblick Av Nâd’. Holding close an eerie elegance, they have choreographed a beautiful dance between heavy and melodic.
They carry a sadness like that of Entombed and The Haunted. ‘Stars Starve Me’ shows off their lyrics that are driven by doom and drenched in darkness. There’s a seasoned sound in their years of experience, a real solid substance that has been sustained. The last couple of tracks on the record, ‘Seconds’ and ‘Envy of the Moon’ continue down a path full of depth and potency. The intriguing guitars continue to guide you on this track that is wrapped in the mystic. The sensitive haunting, and enchantment of their sound embraces you on each song. Though this album isn’t really revolutionary in any way, it’s a solid listen and enjoyable to experience from beginning to end. In Splendor Below is a moody album full of heart.
6 / 10