Sound — 4
Three years ago (2008) when I first heard Black Tide's ferocious debut album "Light From Above" I instantly fell in love with their fast and polished speed metal sound. Their combination of Bullet For My Valentine type choruses mixed with early Slayer and Metallica type instrumentals created a sound that was both familiar and refreshing. After a long three years of anticipation Black Tide has released their sophomore effort, "Post Mortem". Unfortuanately my ears were filled with dissapointment throughout the majority of the album. In the three years separating the two releases Black Tide have managed to almost completely ruin their sound in an attempt to sound more mature as a whole. This modification forced the aspiring metal superstars to now sound like thirty year old rock & roller's who are a good 10 years past their prime. Any elements of "classic metal" are nowhere to be found on "Post Mortem" and instead were replaced by what sounds like a combination of irritating Bullet For My Valentine ripoff verses, wimpy Three Days Grace/Seether choruses, and dull instrumentals that sound like they were written 15 minutes before they were recorded. The album starts off promisingly with the furious and energetic track "Ashes, which sounds just like early Bullet For My Valentine (and coincidently features BFMV vocalist Matt Tuck). Then the album takes a turn for the worse when the next two tracks "Bury Me" and "Let It Out" are extremely forgettable, boring, and clich, a reacurring problem throughout "Post Mortem". The album goes back to "heavy" with the hit single "Honest Eyes" but quickly changes back to it's irritating clich radio-friendly style immediately afterwards. The whole middle section of the album is forgettable and lame mainly consisting of "hard rockish" instrumentals that occasionely produce something that makes you want to get out of your chair, but are mainly backgrounded behind the whiny unoriginal singing throughout each song. As the album comes to a close with "Walking Dead Man" and "Into The Sky" I realize how truly dissapointing the entire album was.
Lyrics — 4
I'm not going to go into very much detail about the lyrics present in "Post Mortem". However I am going to say that Black Tide's lyrics have never been what they're known for. The lyrics on "Light From Above" are mainly fantasy-based and for the most part are fun and even somewhat silly, just like most speed metal albums. However on "Post Mortem" the lyrics are more serious and obviously had more time and thought put into them. That being said I still do not like the lyrics on "Post Mortem". The clich themes about death, girls, and the afterlife are tiresome and overdone. Another one of the major turnoffs of the album is that the cover of "Post Mortem" is a cartoon picture of a person who has hung themselves. The cover suggests that the album is going to be humoresly dark and fun but not totally serious. However that contradicts the "serious" lyrics that are present throughout every single song.
Overall Impression — 4
Overall this album is a huge dissapointment mainly because I know this band is capable of much better. Not every band out there has the potential to be a metal band but I strongly believe that these guys do. This album portrays Black Tide as a "wannabe" metal band or a band that just doesn't have it together enough to be in metal. The spectacular shredding and overall audacity that was apparent on "Light From Above" is nowhere to be found on "Post Mortem". I know they still have it in them because it shows for a few seconds in the short lived solos throughout the album and in the energy present in the tracks "Ashes", "Honest Eyes", and "Walking Dead Man". I still have hope that Black Tide can pull it together and be one of the biggest names in metal throughout the 21st century. For true fans like myself, overlook "Post Mortem" and wait for their next release a couple years down the road. Be sure to catch them live on the Uproar tour this fall!