Listening to Post Mortem, Black Tide‘s sophomore album, is like tracing back the history of Bullet For My Valentine. This would be about the time when the band was going strong, or in other words, before the disaster called Fever came along last year. Though BFMV had a unique and distinct sound going along, it seems that Black Tide is trying unsuccessfully to copy their sound. It’s not anything new or interesting though, which makes this album dissolve more into the generic category.
When hearing the first track, “Ashes,” you can tell that these guys are heavy, but they just don’t rock quite as hard as BFMV. They turn it up a notch from their previous record, but that isn’t saying much because their last album was boring and didn’t keep my attention for very long. The opener is not quite in-your-face, but the sound is solid and safely played. And if you didn’t think my comparison to BFMV would be enough, the song features backing vocals from Matt Tuck, the band’s vocalist. It’s a decent rocker, but the strategy that Black Tide is using seems a bit stale.
“Bury Me” is probably the highlight of Post Mortem and it’s definitely the catchiest song also (“Take my life, because it’s already over”). Other songs like “Honest Eyes” and “Lost In The Sound” start off heavy, but fail to keep my attention and grow fairly weak by the second chorus. In the latter, the guitar solo lacks the excitement and thrill factor that I wanted. The vocals and instrumentals are there, but there’s nothing to go above and beyond the typical. After “Bury Me,” the choruses don’t really reach out to keep you entertained. Though there are some nice riffs and strong vocals from Gabriel Garcia, they often seem like generic filler to a certain degree.
If you’re looking for a good song to mix up the tempo of the rest of the songs (most of which run together), check out what I believe is the climax of the album, the acoustic ballad “Into The Sky.” It surprised me the first time around, as it is a more emotional song than the others, seeming more personal than most of the other tracks.
Anybody hoping for a genre-defining hard rock album will definitely not find it here. Post Mortem is still a record worth checking out though, as Black Tide knows how to structure and polish songs to be appealing to their audience. It’s got some good songs, but soon it will be long forgotten in the swarm of decent hard rock. This is coming in a very crowded genre however, with bands like Avenged Sevenfold and Funeral For A Friend being much more captivating. For some reason I felt that all the hype for Post Mortem would make it easier to swallow, but it turned out like having vegetables for dessert: unappealing and harder to digest than my first expectations.
Hard Rock/Alternative Metal | Interscope Records