Sound — 9
Now I am perfectly aware that there is a HUGE sound change from "Light From Above". Everyone comes so quickly to criticize the change, but think about it this way... If Black Tide released a "Post Mortem" type album first, then came out with a "Light From Above" type, they would get just as much hate. This album has a really precise sound. The guitar riffs are very controlled, with great add-on riffs. Gabriel Garcia has proved himself yet again to be a brilliantly-talented guitarist, NO ONE can argue that. The drums from who I like to call "Tarzan" - if you look at him you'll see it - are hard hitting and bring each song together very well.
Lyrics — 8
Most people say "His lyrics are so cheesy and basic" in "Post Mortem", yet I find them to be very passionate. You can tell that Garcia means every word he said, as he sings with his drive in his heart. The songs "Let It Out", "Lost In The Sound", "Into The Sky" and "Give Hope" (bonus track) all show Gabriel's emotions. He encourages standing up for one's self ("Let It Out"), puts emphasis on helping the poor ("Lost In The Sound" & "Give Hope"), and drains his melancholy to a lost love one ("Into The Sky"). These tracks are my favorite because of the sound and their message. I even used lyrics from "Lost In The Sound" on a college essay about service. It was the best of all of my essays.
Overall Impression — 8
I will admit that some songs are based for radio play and lack originality: "Fight Til The Bitter End" & "That Fire", but overall, Black Tide shows their true talent and passion. I do miss some the heavy metal shredding in "Light From Above", and none of the songs have the guitar precision of "Warriors Of Time", but I enjoy this new direction. There is nothing wrong with sounding like Bullet For My Valentine, because they are a great band. The sound change can connect to their frequent touring with them. Gabriel Garcia is definitely one of the most promising frontmen for the future of rock and roll. Only greats can play LEAD guitar and be the lead singer this well. GREAT album.