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Rather unsurprisingly October Tide remind me heavily of Katatonia during the 'Dance of December Souls' and 'Brave Murder Day' era. That distinctive growl from Jonas Renske is equally similar to what he has produced on Dance of December Souls, perhaps taking away from the originality of this particular band and making October Tide seem rather samey. The slow and monotonous sound is also similar to that of a Katatonia long since dead with heavily distorted down tuned guitars, eerie melodies and stunning acoustic sections which is really where October Tide shine like a bright light amidst all the darkness.
Although awfully similar to his performance on Katatonia's Dance of December Souls, Jonas' vocals are still strong and he delivers a purposeful performance, evoking tonnes of feelings and emotions with it. The overwhelming feeling of the similarity between Rain Without End and early Katatonia works is amazing. It's not necessarily bad if you enjoyed Katatonia's earlier work, but it would be preferential for the listener to perhaps hear something new, refreshing and creative. October Tide give a decent performance throughout, but again, the similarities often detract from my overall opinion of this full-length. One could quite easily be forgiven for mistaking this for a Katatonia full-length.
I hate to harp on about this issue, but it is important. The audience is entitled to, and should be given an innovative and creative performance, as opposed to a band sticking to a similar format which gained them notable success with another during a different time period. Although the album is similar, it does have small differences. The vocals are perhaps a tad different. They are deeper growls and more affective than Jonas' previous attempts at harsh vocals, which could often become indecipherable and scratchy. Due to this the vocals could often cause a negative reaction towards the production. However, the production on Rain Without End is top notch. Clear and concise it perfectly moulds itself around the soundscapes October Tide create and compliments them wonderfully.
There is an added bonus which comes from uses two guitarists, whom both play electric and acoustic here. It adds depth, enhances creativity and packs a punch. The bass is subtle, yet affective. Beautifully weaving between the melodic guitars and stunning acoustic sections. The drums are perhaps a little static. They don't add much to the proceedings and this is a shame. As touched upon before, October Tide create picturesque sounds using acoustics and harmonious guitars which play in tangent, all adding up to a beautiful blend of atmospheric masterpieces.
Highlights; Ephemeral and Losing Tomorrow which allows us a closer look at Jonas' awe inspiring clean vocals that add a certain quality of beauty, elegance and pleasantness.