Tides/Giant split CD/LP reviewed by Luc Rodgers

Music Reviews
Tides/Giant split CD/LP reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Aug 22, 2008, 03:19



Instrumental metal has become somewhat of a phenomenon in the last few years. Maybe it's the fact that, “Hey, man…at least we don't have to flyer for a singer now,” or the boundaries are yet to be determined. The thing is, though, one has to be nearly impeccable to stand out in such a dense genre. There are the soaring bits where the culmination of seven minutes of build pays off in a grandiose display of true freedom. Then there's the breakdowns where, much like jazz, each member licks their fingers and demonstrates his/her abilities. Throw in some kooky time changes and maybe some drop-D thunder and all is well, right? Now you just wait for the paycheck and the opening slot to sold-out NeurIsislican Circles tour.

No. It takes a singularity and poise to get anywhere. Not to mention memorable music. Providence, RI's Tides play said music with vigor and good posture, sure, but it's a rehashed half-time-into-a-dramatic-apex juggernaut pound that, unfortunately, has lost all power. Robert Dowler's drumming is sufficient, as is Donald Green's, bass, August Snow's guitar, and Tim Fickeisen's guitar, but being on par is not where one wants to find them selves in this sport. “The Invisible” lumbers on, riding the waves of a tom-heavy Dowler and intertwining guitar melody/guitar swell that has become snoresome as this genre moves but doesn't evolve. The high is reached, eventually, and the checklist is complete. Another instrumental metal song in the bag. Great.

“Unfinished Highways” is a riff that was written on an acoustic guitar and remained as such. To see it in person would be fine, but on record it is just a question mark.

Giant begins their journey into the populated night with a cool, lo-fi piano jingling in the distance. Promising, promising. Unfortunately everything said in the preceding paragraphs describe this song as well, only the East Coast vocals (i.e. Nate Newton [Old Man Gloom, Doomriders, etc.]) shuffle it away from the “instrumental” tag. It's so minimal and pedestrian that the song is still considered “instrumental.”

Let's get noisy, fellas. It's in there somewhere and it wants to come out in a full splattering of feedback and mayhem across mine and everyone else's faces as we nod off at the show. Lift your heads, let the hearts beat, and destroy the dim light with pure black. Or just play something else. [Level Plane]

-Luc Rodgers


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