When I say “Tonight’s Decision” or “Brave Murder Day” many of you will be thinking KATATONIA. The core of this band, Anders Nyström, Jonas Renkse and Fredrik Norrman, always seemed to brim over with so much talent and ideas that one band wasn’t enough to play with. Instead of going solo the guys stayed together more or less to keep the chemistry alive, nowadays Renkse and Nyström are practicing their Death Metal lusting in the successful project known as BLOODBATH, Anders also pursued an avantgardish Black Metal journey with his DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE… and Norrman, together with Renkse, went back to their roots with OCTOBER TIDE.
Before Avantgarde Music decided to reprint the album, “Grey Dawn” was an album highly sought after, a cult item! As for the music itself, some think it sounds like a discounted version of early KATATONIA, others saw it as alluring grey painted Metal music, both which are good descriptions, the ultimate fact recognised about OCTOBER TIDE remains unchanged as it still stands as a dreary encounter with some of the most beautiful Doom Metal written in the nineties clinging unto Gothic Metal as well, so often I wish to have them come back and do another album like this one, why did they ever stop!!!?
The idea is pretty simple. As KATATONIA was progressing into “lighter” territories OCTOBER TIDE was summoned to keep in touch with the past, not like looking back in retro fashion but having their Doom Metal approach mixed with more complex melodies still empowered by that unique lead guitar sadness, bring in a couple of acoustic sections and use a harsh voice (courtesy of Mårten Hansen from A CANOROUS QUINTET) emphasising the anguish of the music. Although not very original or technically challenging, pretty much every track is great and varied breathing atmospherical supremacy and cultivated musicianship that only these guys possess. “October Insight”, “Into Deep Sleep”, “Floating” and the awesome title track swallow every little form that is of light and cheerfulness eventually leading to “Dear Sun”, an instrumental closure with four minutes of acoustic guitar mourning bringing this dainty serenade to an end.
“Rain Without End” was also good but it lacked the production, which this album most certainly has. The album was recorded at Studio underground which is known for delivering a top notch sound, there’s so much pressure on the rhythm guitars making them sound powerful and melancholic and drums, especially snares, are so clean and solid that Renkse might have recorded his tracks at a misty moor for all I know.
Never has a cover image reflected so perfectly back at the music contained within the CD it was printed on, “Grey Dawn” was and still is a haunting epitaph to many fans, oh how I would love to have some more of this, fingers crossed for the return everybody. Will satisfy doom lovers and people from gothic circles.
P.S. Avoid the sun for at least a day or two after this encounter! (Online July 5, 2005)