Sound — 8
The band's sound is a tasteful mix of thrash speed, Guns N' Roses catchyness/acessability, and face-ripping solos, with some chord progressions relating to Ascendancy-era Trivium and metalcore. They have a hard time finding where they settle in these almost complete opposites, especially going from "Shockwave" which is heavily Guns, to "Warriors Of Time" which has a Megadeth/Trivium vibe. But it should be considered that singer/guitarist/ mostly main writer Gabriel Garcia is only 15, and that alone should impress you when he rips your face with his leads. (14 at the time of release). The rest of the band are also solid players, but the real star here is Garcia.
Lyrics — 7
I'll admit the lyrics could be of a higher quailty, but then again who the hell do you know who's 15 that can even deliver compotant lyrics? They're not bad, but they seem dated for the modern music scene. "Shockwave" is kind of like Old Megadeth with the violence and "Warriors Of Time" has cool power metal like lyrics, but again, metal has come a long way since then. Other songs seem to deal with the raging hormones of being young, like "Let Me" and "Give Me A Chance", but really, I write better lyrics and I'm younger than Garcia. But then again, they're not pretencious at all, they just tell the truth like a good punk rock record.It should be noted that Garcia has a GREAT voice, especially for someone his age. He sounds like a somewhat subdued Geddy Lee, and his range is more than perfect to fit the music. Good, but hopefully later releases will show growth here in the lyrics department. Great singing though.
Overall Impression — 9
Black Tide have a little bit of growth to do on their next records before truly being taken seriously by the Metal elite and their fans, but this record is solid, and confident, which is often a problem with debuts. They play like a band that has played for years, which is great, especially considering the age of the members. The "Hits" here are "Shockwave", "Warriors Of Time", the Metallica cover "Hit The Lights" (and I HATE Metallica, so hats off), and closer "Light From Above". They have the most confidence and recklesness. I love the fact that these guys are so good at their instruments, especially Garcia (like I said, it's all about him here.) The only thing I really don't like about this record, is that it could be, how do I say it, rawer? the songs are great but a little less radio rock/pop production sheen (Johny K of Disturbed/Godsmack fame DID produce this, so blame him), and a little more volume that doesn't come from my headphones would also be great. Well worth your money though, you should buy this, these guys definitely have a future. If it were stolen, I might take the initative to buy something else and wait for the hopefully better next record, but I definitely would replace it at some point. This is a great confident, entertaining metal record, someting which is pretty common but, the age of the band members really does make you wonder if other bands even compare to how great these kids will get to be. Looking forward to the future.