Let the Tide of October wash over you with the release of October Tide’s seventh studio album on the sixth of October. Four years after its predecessor “In Splender Below”, “The Cancer Pledge” follows the band’s direction into the past.
Guitarist and founder Fredrik Norrman states that the record ventures into the death metal realm, yet melodic and with more layers. October Tide steps a bit more away from the doom area. Norrman states: “I’ve searched for inspiration in records I listened to in the 80’s and 90’s when I grew op. But it still sounds like October Tide”. (ref. here)
He’s right about that, but mainly in the instrumental parts. This part of the record is definitely solid. Layered sections where guitar riffs and drums alternate sound awesome. There is a lot of diversity in the tracks here, as drumbeats differ in speed in the middle of songs, technical riffs add to this but here we also find the main thing I find lacking in “The Cancer Pledge”, the vocals/growls.
In contrast to previous records, where all layers complimented each other, here the vocals somehow don’t hit the spot. It’s as if vocalist Alexander Högbom has to make too much of an effort, either on purpose because it’s written that way, or he just can’t find a way to make the vocals match the instumental parts this time. I find the lyrics to be quite simplistic now and then, which is a big contrast to the complexity of the arrangement.
Is it all bad? Definitely not. Especially “Season of Arson” is a great track because in this song, the synergy does exist. Yet the opening track “Peaceful, Quiet, Safe” is an example of how not to do it. It kicks off great for the first 45 seconds, but after that the drums go into an off-beat mode which the track does not recover from. In the end, the track doesn’t blend in all together and ends up feeling like a chaotic mess.
Most of the songs do really well instrumnentally, which is why it’s such a shame that the vocals don’t click. October Tide kicks off a tour to support the release of “The Cancer Pledge” and hopefully the songs work better live.
Release date: 6th of October 2023
Label: Agonia Records
- Peaceful, Quiet, Safe
- Tapestry of Our End
- Unprecedented Aggression
- The Cancer Pledge
- I know Why I´m Cold
- Season of Arson
- Breathe the Water