Tidfall - _Circular Supremacy_
(Nocturnal Art, 2000)
by: Eli Fishbein (8.5 out of 10)
The booming layers of over-the-top Dimmu Borgirian keyboards immediately point to Nocturnal Art as the label behind this outfit. Present here are the same sci-fi concepts and the same overwhelming guitar/keyboard-oriented musical tsunamis that characterize at least two other Nocturnal Art bands: Sirius and Odium. It seems to me that all these bands have conquered a niche, which would not be a bad thing had that niche not been too crowded by now. So before these bands get too repetitious (assuming they haven't already), I hope they look for labelmates Limbonic Art and Emperor for inspiration, mutate a bit, quit cloning, and start designing. Originality must be the key factor in whatever they do next. This is not to say _Circular Supremacy_ is not a good album; far from it. In fact, context aside (for contextualization, after all, eliminates individuality), tracks like "Empty Silence" and the closer "Hymn to Fall" exemplify just how grandiose Tidfall might become. The former track is colossal and jagged in a manner reminiscent of later Hypocrisy, with both slower and faster moments and creative double-tracked vocal arrangements. The latter is relentless in its pursuit of appropriate musical imagery -- as if searching for a new path -- to accompany the funereal and emotive lyrics ("The tear you / didn't dry, has died and turned into a scar. Your dreams / are becoming the photograph you never wanted to see.") For the sake of evolution in the post-black era -- as it is beginning to be defined by coevals Nagelfar and Limbonic Art -- with more than just evil as its only permanence, I hope that this band decides to slip free of the Norwegian moorings and find their own echo chamber. There is no telling what might come out then.

(article published 12/8/2000)

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