Released: 2016, Agonia Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Katatonia and October Tide are kind of like siblings started out with similar musical tastes, but who pursued divergent musical paths. Katatonia is the brother who discovered Pink Floyd and Brian Eno, and no longer wants to talk about how many hours they spent air guitaring in the mirror to Motorhead. October Tide is the brother that still ONLY listens to Motorhead. Both kids have their moments, but you know the one who still digs Motorhead is probably more fun to hang out with.
WINGED WALTZ is the latest full length from October Tide, and it’s intense. It’s like in the three years since TUNNEL OF NO LIGHT, the band quit taking their antidepressants, quit group therapy, and got really, really angry. The eight new tracks all share DNA with the gothic gloom of the Swedish brethren’s shared past, but they’re aggressive in a way like the band has a major grudge to settle. Album opener “Swarm” sounds massive – a thick wall of guitars offset by the occasional melancholy segue and weighted with Alexander Högbom’s full throated death growl, it’s a tremendous opening statement. Moments like “Sleepless Sun” and the recklessly catchy “Nursed by the Cold” opt more for stinging melody, but are no less powerful. “Lost in Rapture” may be one of the best songs yet from the band; it’s a more straightforward death/doom opus, but the pervasive musical sadness throughout the track is almost effortlessly conveyed.
While Katatonia are busy finding the right pair of shoes to gaze at for their next record, October Tide has been busy recording one of the best doom albums of the year. WINGED WALTZ is a dark and wickedly heavy record, don’t miss this one.