Released: 2012, Iron On Iron Records
Tidal Dreams is a new band out of Greece. They’ve managed to get their act together quite quickly – this is their debut full-length and the band only formed in 2011. Featuring a three-piece lineup that obviously grew up loving power metal and Iron Maiden, Tidal Dreams has a lot to offer metal fans, with one notable exception.
After the atmospheric title track gets you in the mood with the sounds of a sailing ship being loaded at port (seriously), “Back to a Time” launches the journey with heavy melodic riffs high redolent of the aforementioned Iron Maiden. It’s not nearing rip-off territory, but the influence is clear. The band’s own title track follows next with more of the same, but album highlight “Argonauts” takes the music into a higher gear with speedy riffs and a catchy chorus. The rest of the album isn’t quite as catchy, but remains solid throughout. The band even stretches out lyrically with the finale, “Descending” moving away from the previous fantasy-based lyrics to focus on world politics (!); a bit heavy-handed sure, but a nice break to end the album.
If that was all that was offered, ONCE UPON A TIDE would be an easy 4/5…unfortunately vocalist Nektarios Santamouris nearly wrecks the whole thing singlehandedly. While strong, at best his voice is off key, annoying at worst. His inflections are poor and his attempts at “charismatic” singing are more amusing than effective. I hate to bash the guy, but the band seriously needs to consider getting him some vocal lessons…or a new singer.
If you can get past overwrought vocals, there is much enjoyment to be had from this album. Musically the band is definitely on the right track, so hopefully next time it all comes together for a killer album.