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Black Tide, ‘Post Mortem’ – Album Review

Geffen Records

Miami’s own Black Tide make their triumphant return with ‘Post Mortem,’ the follow-up to their 2008 debut release, ‘Light From Above.’ One might say that if you release your major-label debut as teenagers that there’s nowhere to go but up, but Black Tide’s growth on this album transcends the natural evolution of their coming of age.

With looming expectations after delivering such a delectable debut, ‘Post Mortem’ takes the band in a new direction that might surprise a few people.

‘Post Mortem’ leaves the group’s rough-around-the-edges riffs in the rearview mirror, as it features polished production and feels a little less metal and a lot more mainstream rock. Frontman Gabriel Garcia has gone on record to say that his influences on this album stretch the gamut from U2 to Pantera, offering up some explanation for the shift in tone. Another notable game-changer is the addition of guitarist Austin Diaz, who brings a more methodical approach to the writing process with his time spent in music school and his years of classical training.

The album starts off on a high note, reminding fans of why they fell in love with the band the first time around. The first track, ‘Ashes,’ features Bullet for My Valentine’s Matt Tuck making a guest appearance on vocals. The unlikely vocal pairing of Tuck and Garcia offers up a texturally ear appealing combination, framed perfectly by flawless guitar work.

The disc’s latest single, ‘That Fire,’ is a bombastic fist-pumper that sounds great through speakers but undeniably would probably sound best in a live environment. The guitar breakdown in the middle of the song will stop you dead in your tracks, if only to head-bang momentarily.

Standout track ‘Into the Sky’ starts with an acoustic intro and lyrically is one of the more poignantly powerful songs on the album. The interlaced acoustic pieces throughout are both a welcome surprise and a testament to the band’s growth and willingness to try new things. Admitting that this album has some of the heaviest music the band has ever recorded in tandem with some of the softest they’ve ever written, the band is proud of the diversity on the disc.

Other singles include ‘Walking Dead Man’ and ‘Bury Me,’ both reminiscent of the earlier days of Black Tide with a bit more edge and a whole new found confidence to step out of the box a bit. The band has also recorded Spanish versions of a few tracks, including ‘Let it Out’ and ‘Into the Sky,’ as a nod to their Latin heritage and fans.

While the overall theme of the album seemingly revolves around death, the life on the album is what will draw you in. Black Tide still have many years to define their sound, but this year, with this album, they simply rock.

On Aug. 26, Black Tide will embark on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival along with Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Seether and Bullet for My Valentine.

Listen to a Full Album Stream of Black Tide’s ‘Post Mortem’

Black Tide 'Post Mortem' CD Giveaway

Enter your e-mail address for a chance to win a copy of Black Tide, 'Post Mortem,' on CD. Contest ends Sept. 23, 2011. Click here for official rules.

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