Cover of Afternoon- Among the Tides
Release Date: October 18th, 2013
Among the Tides may just go down as one of the best independent releases I have ever heard. I find it hard to believe that these guys are not signed and that they don't have more going for them.
They are simply a very polished and talented group.
The music is dark, yet not overly heavy. They have a weighty lyrical content that is easy to relate to... and that makes it special. Songs such as "Harlot", "Last Symphony", and "Kings and Architects" seem extremely personal, with lyrics that feel as though they mean a great deal to the writers. This really comes out in the whole album. This is an album that this group wanted to share. The vocals match the intensity of the lyrics. Among the Tides utilizes a "dual-singer" system. Allen Bishop and Alex Roberts are both listed as main vocalists, and they both have incredibly unique voices. One of the singers has a very soulful and pained voice. Breathy and sad, he's featured on tracks such as "Sealed" and "Scars". The other singer has a powerful set of highs that just simply soar. They do not specify which is which in their press kit. It doesn't matter... they are both great singers.
Every single song on this album takes you on a different journey. From the very beginning all the way to the end, you don't know what type of song is coming next. The album opens with "Recoil", a very angsty song that throttles through very aggressively. This is possibly the weakest song lyrically, but makes up for it with really powerful music and some incredible drumming from Reid Mewborne. That song is followed up by one of the best tracks on the record, "Kings and Architects". This is a song that goes through so many stages, it's hard to describe. It starts moody, gets driving, throws in a breakdown for good measure, and then ends on a powerful soft note and moody guitar.
Next is "Ashes to Ashes". It is simply epic. They have some punk in this, some rock, and it all wraps up with a stunning outro that has continued to stick with me. Next is the forgettable "Paper Planes". Great lyrics and singing, but easily my least favorite on the album. It's more cotton candy to the rest of the album's delicious steak dinner.
"Drop Your Weapons" is a heavy driver. It borders on hard-rock/post hardcore. Then, the show stopper, "Harlot". Wow. This song just floors me, and is going to be a member of my library for a long time. Awesome piano, amazing singing, and brutal screaming. Just a fantastic song that is by far the high point of this incredible album.
"Sealed" is another animal. Animalistic and raw, but quiet and reserved. This song is another favorite of mine. "Children of the Sun" rips and has a great positive message. It's easy to relate to. "Last Symphony" is another stunning track. Heavy and melodic, this track is the polar opposite of "Harlot" and tells about how a person can save another person. It's a love song, but a great one.
This leads to another favorite, "Risk vs. Reward". This song starts off with some nice guitar playing and ends with a great solo. I love how the vocalist controls his pipes, and the vocal effects add a great deal to it. "Not Afraid" is good, but it feels incomplete. Maybe that is just me hoping for more, but it's the least complete of all the songs, even if the piano and guitar have incredible energy and sound perfect together.
"Scars" is skippable, but it has a place on the album as the easily accessable bopper. The lyrics here are really repetitive, and I find myself skipping it to the amazing "Vitmamin B+", which is probably the most complete song on the album.
This band is a band that I can see going places. This album is nearly perfect. A couple of miscues and some balancing issues keep this album from being a perfect ten. If this band embraces their epic and emotional side, and stays true to themselves, they will be known all over the world.