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Articles Home » 2008 Articles » Black Tide - 2008 Light From Above
Black Tide - 2008 Light From Above

ARTIST: Black Tide
ALBUM: Light From Above
LABEL: Interscope
SERIAL: 1760665
YEAR: 2008


LINEUP: Gabriel Garcia - vocals, guitars * Alex 'Lex' Nunez - guitars * Zachary Sandler - bass * Steven Spence - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shockwave * 02 Shout * 03 Warriors Of Time * 04 Give Me A Chance * 05 Let Me * 06 Show Me The Way * 07 Enterprise * 08 Live Fast Die Young * 09 Hit The Lights * 10 Black Abyss * 11 Light From Above * 12 Black Widow



At the time of reviewing this album, it had been out in the market for some time, only now are we getting around to it. This very young band from Miami are raising eyebrows everywhere they go. As at 2008, all the band members are under the age of 20, yet, Black Tide swim in the 80's metal scene, an era when these boys weren't even born!! Why is that? Their influences are worn proudly on their sleeves.. reference points include some of the best from the 80's. Think Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden, Armored Saint and fellow Floridians Savatage. Black Tide formed back in 2004, and have through a lot of hard work, managed to get themselves signed to a big label (Interscope) and play support gigs with some of the biggest artists on the planet. Strange that Interscope have signed the band, the label now home to a plethora of rap and hip-hop artists, yet a few years ago, the label was home to various melodic hard rock bands, including the youthful (even younger than Black Tide) Bad4Good, featuring guitar prodigy Thomas McRocklin. Interscope flew Black Tide to Chicago to record 'Light From Above', the label may just have a long term proposition on their books.

The Songs
Their lead off song 'Shockwave' has been played on radio, even down under in NZ, there is a video for this on YouTube. Its riff has that Zak Wylde style all over it, and is straight out of the old school of metal. Superb stuff.

Anthemic to the core, 'Shout', the band pushes the metronomic envelope and come off sounding like a very young Metallica in the process, especially the vocals of Gabriel Garcia, who has obviously listened to James Hetfield more than once!

'Warriors Of Time' might invoke thoughts of Manowar like rambling, but it charges through likes horses belonging to the Light Brigade, though in all honesty, why a bunch of teenagers are singing a song with lyrics like this mystifies me. Shouldn't they be singing about skateboards or tattoos or something? lol!

Swampy sounding flangers precede 'Give Me Chance', but the song floats in power-ballad territory mostly, with a few flourishes courtesy of guitar solos here and there.

'Let Me' features more of that Zakk Wylde riff-master style, and is (in metal terms at least) an easy on the ear listen.

The riffs are laid on thick and heavy for 'Show Me The Way'. The tempo is similar to 'Shockwave', the delivery again in that youthful Metallica and perhaps Armored Saint style.

Iron Maiden fans might reverberate with 'Enterprise' easier than most. No, it isn't a sci-fi Trekky tribute, however it does contain a few elements that made the 'Irons' trademark so recognisable.

Changing horses with 'Live Fast Die Young', this one is a hair-metal anthem from the 80's, nothing fancy with this one, it has a dose of AC/DC on the chorus, perhaps Tesla on other parts. Black Tide lift the speed through the solo section to near thrash. Good song!

The band attempt Metallica's 'Hit The Lights' with aplomb. Some reviews have mentioned how they loved this version, a few others suggesting they should've left it alone. I don't mind, and it further embellishes Black Tide's similarity to a younger Metallica as mentioned earlier in this review.

To my ears, Savatage is a reference point for 'Black Abyss', with twin guitars giving the sound a degree of separation in much the same way that 'The 'Tage' used to do.

A brief piano motif opens up the title track 'Light From Above' and again, moves in the same direction as early Savatage material.

The final track 'Black Widow' is the album's bonus track. It summarises all the band have achieved in the previous eleven songs, and wraps up what is an enjoyable 80's old school metal album.

In Summary
Though the band are so young, there is vast improvement to be achieved into the future. Do not confuse with this band in terms of whether they are thrash, nu metal or what have you. Simply put, Black Tide is the spirit of old school metal wrapped up in young bodies and minds. Enjoy it for what it is, and don't try and get too serious about them, as other sites and readers have attempted to do. It is only music after all.

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#1 | rkbluez on October 14 2008 11:33:39
Love this band and they have massive potential...for such a young age these kids can play and I love the way they pay homeage to classic heavy metal...their guitar work and instrumentation is killer.

I expect great things from them in the future as they develope their own signature sound...and grow as musicians.
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