October Tide - _Rain Without End_
(Vic Records, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
October Tide is very Katatonia-like doom played by two Katatonia members: Jonas Renske (vocals and drums) and Fredrik Norrman (guitars and bass). Seeing that Renske would perform growled vocals, I wondered how similar would this be to my favorite Katatonia album, the ever-awesome _Dance of December Souls_ (which is the only Katatonia full-length with Renske on vox). However, it turns out that _Rain Without End_ is instrumentally rather similar to Katatonia's latest EP, _Sounds of Decay_, while Renske's superb vocals sound like a mix between what his voice was on _DoDS_ and some of the characteristics of Mikael Akerfeldt's voice (Akerfeldt being the Opeth vocalist who performed vocals on the two latest Katatonia releases). This album is therefore a highly welcome surprise for me, considering the changes that are to happen in Katatonia's sound. Norrman shows some guitar skills that I previously believed to be exclusive to Katatonia's brilliant Blackheim, and _Rain Without End_ resembles the very unique kind of utterly sorrowful music that Blackheim creates in Katatonia. Unfortunately, the album is somewhat short (39 minutes) and no lyrics are included; if it also had more extensive use of violin, then the extra mark would have been well earned. For any real Katatonia fan, this an absolute -must-. For all the others out there, my advice is that you give this a try in case my words about Katatonia and October Tide were of any interest to you -- _Rain Without End_ is almost as good, and often even just as great, as what Katatonia have done so far, and is therefore an outstanding album.
(article published 4/13/1998)
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