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October Tide – In Splendor Below

october tide – in splendor below

Having been established in Sweden in 1994, the Death Doom band October Tide have had the chance to be part of the famous Swedish Death Metal scene early on. They never meant to become a big name, but they established an image of themselves which is loved and appreciated within the scene. It started as a side project by Jonas Renske of Katatonia (and two current members are from that band), so Katatonia influences are notable in their discography. Other members have also been in successful bands and projects, check it out if you’d like.

On their sixth full-length album, October Tide went a bit more melodic than before, and strenghtened the doom aspect of the band. They do it with an appropriate dose of emotional intensity therefore having a good medium to express the sorrow, psychological decline and even some borderly hallucinatory musical images. I get a feeling this album sounds similar to Insomnium – that was my first thought listening to it, but less aesthetically pleasing (not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong) and stronger on negative emotion.

As for melodic/rythmic elements, there is a distinctive variety of those. Combining diverse and more complex patterns with simpler flowy riffs let the band make more meaningful statements: Not being afraid to go simple and easy made the heavier parts contrast even more and strenghten their impact. Among songs there is, however, diverse quality – some are, of course, not as special or memorable as the others, but they are far from bad. The album in its entirety paints a picture of that  characteristic death metal melancholy and October Tide do a pretty good job in expressing that idea. (Lana)