When Black Tide busted on to the metal scene back on 2007, they were hailed as the new thing. A young group of musicians with a semi-classic metal sound that were supposed to be huge. Their label, Interscope Records, signed them in 2007 and presumably dumped a large amount of money in to promoting them and their first record, Light From Above and sent them out on the road. They toured extensively, opening for All That Remains, were on The first Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and even played on Ozzfest 2007 before their initial success in 2008.
Black Tide were actually my first interview on short notice and also the opening act of the first metal show I ever covered in the beginning of 2008, six months after I first started blogging about metal. They put on an impressive show in Charlotte, North Carolina and I eagerly anticipated the release of Light from Above a couple of weeks after the show. The musicianship of the album was also very impressive, though I thought that lyrics were a bit immature at first listen. I thought that this band had potential and could only get better. I caught them again on the first run of Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and they again put on a good show; however their initial shine was quickly fading for me.
When it was announced that they would be releasing a new album, I thought that perhaps after touring and learning more of the ropes of touring and recording that things could only improve with songwriting. They were already obviously talented and fine-tuning their own sound in to a heavy metal/rock sound that would get better. Unfortunately, I think on their sophomore album, Post Mortem, they were pushed to be more of a corporate selling band and their own early metal influences would be put on the back-burner in order to be more friendly to the younger fans and the almighty dollar.
When I was prompted to do a review of Post Mortem I must admit that I was kind of hesitant. I really had no desire or intention to listen to this album due to the release of the single ‘Bury Me’. I’m thinking that I should have followed my instincts, instead of having to write a predominantly negative review for their new album.
To keep things short and sweet, Post Mortem sounds very ‘Hot Topic’ to me. There are some good riffs and solos but the overall feel of it is very generic metalcore sounding with a lot of hooks that have been done a thousand times before by bands such as Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium. While I wouldn’t go so far as saying that the album is anywhere near being “bad”, it’s not something that I would listen to after this review, kind of like All That Remains’ new album. Of course people do a lot of things they don’t like to do in order to pay off their debts and make a living, just as I and a million other people do every day, but I would never go against my own morals, beliefs or roots in order to do so. Unfortunately, a lot of bands do this in order to honor a contract.
Lyrically, Post Mortem is much better than Light From Above, which is what I wanted since 2008, but not like this. The guitar riffs are very stock in the current scene, so it doesn’t live up to expectations higher than that of your average teenage girl. Trust me; they will love it. The average metal fan will have nothing but negative things to say about the overall sound of the album. If you’re into bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine and post The Fall Of Ideals ATR, then by all means, enjoy this album. If you expected Black Tide to become a bigger and better band, pioneering a new sound, then you will be gravely disappointed in Post Mortem.
Black Tide’s post Mortem earns a deserving 4 out of 10 for being impressively mediocre and very average tweener metal for any self-respecting metal fan to truly enjoy.