Black Tide was formed in Miami, FL by two brothers in 2004; ages 11 and 13. They are known as an American Heavy Metal band, but add in speed metal, hard rock, and metalcore. Their debut album, Light from Above, was released with Interscope Records in 2008. Gabriel was only 15. One of their claims to fame is being signed at such a young age.
Since 2007 Black Tide has appeared on stage at Ozzfest, Mayhem Fest, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Warped Tour, San Diego Comic-Con, Uproar Fest, and the large (120k attendees) Viva Latino Fest. They have also opened for many other well-known artists on various tours.
Black Tide received Kerrang’s Best New Comer Award in 2007. Light from Above hit #73 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart upon release. 11,400 copies were sold in the first week. Their second album was leaked prior to release in 2011, but still landed on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart at, ironically, #73 once again.
Gabriel Garcia – lead vocals, lead guitar
Austin Diaz – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Cody Paige – drums
As always, I listened to this album many times before I began to compose my review. The first few listens sounded typical for Black Tide. After a few more listens, the lyrics and instrumental layers became clearer and I was hearing something completely different. It was a more constricted and reserved Black Tide. I was left with a question. Where is that punch, the angst, and the anger? It is MIA throughout the album.
My most liked track is No Guidelines. In my opinion, it features the strongest vocals on the album. The guitar riffs are impressive and effortlessly layer with the drums. The upbeat tone matches the lyrics. It is definitely a “feel good” song, but another beat came to mind. When Everyday’s the Weekend by Asking Alexandria has an almost identical instrumental beginning, but you get the punch that Black Tide usually delivers. I was somewhat disappointed, but it was still a good listen.
Heaven also deserves a mention. Gabriel’s voice shifts to smooth and melodic. It reveals a softer side of Black Tide’s diverse discography. It is a touching love song that I found atypical for most bands that identify as rock and or metal. If you are a fan of Craig Owens, you will appreciate this song and his possible influence.
Track 6, Chasing Shadows, has a jagged transition around 1:20. Although the overall beat is great, the lyrics are in a different place. I am not quite sure of the meaning behind “chasing shadows” or why someone is randomly shouting, “Hey, hey, hey.” I became lost somewhere between the shadows and the ghost. However, I did enjoy the meshing of the instruments.
Track 4, Predator (Animal), jogged my memory once again. I immediately related this intro to The Misfits! Digging up Her Bones has a similar beginning; too similar to overlook. The “howling” intro along with the instrumentals will likely remind fans of other songs. The rest of the song is unique, but is lacking the familiar Black Tide feel.
Black Tide deserves much respect for their accomplishments, but I didn’t quite hear what was expected after listening to their previous hits. In comparison to the other albums, Chasing Shadows seems diluted. Overall, the album is good. Nonetheless, I did not hear nor feel their full potential which is likely a carefully planned shift in their style. In an interview lead man Gabriel Garcia stated, “We don’t like to limit ourselves…I’d just say we are a rock band.” Black Tide is recognized for changing their sound each album and this could possibly be a strategic move to expand their fan base.
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