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Instinct Gate
March 2002
Released: 2001, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Existing in the Norwegian underground since ‘92/’93, Tidfall have burst onto the European metal scene in a big way since releasing their full-length debut CIRCULAR SUPREMACY in 2000. Lead by vocalist/bassist Sorg, the band has now released the INSTINCT GATE as their all-important sophomore album.

The band’s bio promotes them as “potential inheritors to Emperor’s vacated throne”. Strong words that any band would be hard-pressed to live up to. Does Tidfall? Sadly, no. That’s not to say that INSTINCT GATE is a crappy album, it’s not, but it certainly doesn’t come close to Emperor’s hallowed recordings.

“Children of Man” opens the album in typical clinical black metal fashion, with brutally croaked vocals, churning buzzsaw guitars, double kicked drums, and atmospheric keyboards. It’s good, but pretty typical. The album follows along in this way for the next few songs until “Mindraper” hits the speakers. About 1:10 into the song it breaks down into a brief techno-ized section that seems more out of place than interesting. The album’s too long title track also incorporates some electronic influences. Again, these seem like mere add-ons rather than truly fleshed out pieces of the song. The affect is that these electronic sections are distracting, not enjoyable.

Indeed, the band is just fine sticking with their tried and true black metal formula. “For What the Flash Holds” and “My Wrath” are both perfect examples of intense black metal. Still, I found myself getting bored about half-way through the album and mostly just waiting for it to end, most of the songs running into each other without much difference. It would seem that Tidfall need to hone their songwriting skills some more before they attempt to scale Emperor’s lofty heights. A passable, even good black metal album, but nothing more.
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» Instinct Gate
by Waspman

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