Review: Black Tide – 'Chasing Shadows'

So, one of the most underrated bands around have released a new CD, and as a fan going back to “Light From Above”, what were my thoughts….you may be surprised.

I really enjoyed Black Tide when they came out. They were edgy, the crossed different genres, they were innovative and “Post Mortem” added to that. Unfortunately, the first play of “Chasing Shadows” utterly confused me. The Miami trio have thrown the play book out the window. They have gone for a more poppy, accessible vibe. I take it this was a deliberate decision by the guys. Were they fed up with the sound? Were they after a different feel and audience? Whatever the reason, this is a massive left turn, a fork in the road to a new destination. How will it fare for them? I have no idea, but for me it just doesn’t work.
I have tried to be objective and review this purely on the song’s merits, but I cannot help but go back to the excitement and different feel that Black Tide represented to me. The songs are not bad, in fact some are very good, but it just isn’t Black Tide. The thrash feel, the NWOBHM vibe has been stripped away completely from this new platter, to the point it is unrecognisable from the band I knew and loved.
It starts with the “Intro” which has a classical feel. “No Guidelines” does have the Black Tide feel, but watered down, as if played underwater. This was where I noticed the different feel to the vocals… no anger, no ferocity. “Angel In The Dark” will be the first single, released later this month. This should keep most Black Tide fans happy to a certain extent. The feel is there, but it is like listening to a covers band writing their own song.
“Predator” starts strongly, good drums and a nice hook. You can hear the more pop-friendly chorus mixed in there, but with a name like that I want my head ripped off. “Burn” is a full-on soppy ballad. Now I don’t mind a good ballad, but there is no punch here. It is reminiscent of a Michael Jackson song. The title track finally kicks it up a gear, before settling back way too early and with a very distorted, twisted and dysfunctional build up.
“Before We Form” starts like a Whitesnake offshoot, before getting a typical Black Tide riff, but slowed down beyond recognition. The whole album is played at half the speed of previous offerings. It all sounds like Black Veil Brides without the grit. Even the breakdown in this song is too slow. The guitar solo gives it some street cred though. “Sex Is Angry” is up next, but it isn’t as angry as me, where the hell is my band? This is about as angry as slapping my face with wet lettuce. We now have a Foreigner song squashed into the mix. Where is the anger? Where is the sex? Where are the balls?
I can’t even comment on “Heaven” without getting a sack load of hate mail. A very weak ballad. “Promised Land” may be a decent finisher, but it does not make up for the album, and it is not the promised land I was expecting from this band. I have to say this is my biggest disappointment of 2015 so far. I hope it doesn’t dent the guys’ egos. Maybe I am in the wrong. Maybe the change will project them into a new direction, a new fan base, and bigger and better things, but for me the band have killed off the individuality and spark that they had. This is an album that anyone could do.
Don’t hate me for this review as nothing you can say can deepen my depression at this moment.
Review: Ritchie Birnie

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