Tidfall - _Nucleus _
(Nuclear Blast, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
Black metal circa 2003 is a many splintered and far removed genre from the headline-grabbing assault on mainstream society it so proudly was a decade ago. Many of the scene's defining acts have progressed and evolved to the point where they could hardly be called black metal anymore, while several newcomers have begun exploring with greater vigour the intricacies of electronics and the frostbitten bleakness of industrial as a means of bolstering the raw impact of their music. It is in the perennial middle ground between these two polarised approaches that you'll find Tidfall -– a band who combine industrial/electro influences, not out of place on an Aborym record, with the sleek production and intricate songwriting of acts like Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon.Despite getting off to a fairly uninspired start with "Future Doom" and "Nucleus", their first record for the Nuclear Blast label soon peels out the good stuff thick and fast -– running through a veritable gamut of their strengths from razor-sharp guitar work to tight, almost machine-like drumming and vocals that easily stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Shagrath and Satyr Wongraven. While this is less likely to appeal to those who prefer their black metal of a more necro persuasion, _Nucleus_ is still a very enjoyable piece of work. The highlights are many: the catchy mid-section hook of "Neo-Torment", the trance-like psychosis of "Mercury Mesh" and the killer lead-riff in "Zounds"; it's almost over too soon, particularly considering the poor quality of its opening songs. Ultimately though, Tidfall have assembled a satisfying and very entertaining (if not wholly perfect) record that most certainly bodes well for their future.
(article published 12/9/2003)
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