Review: “Self Titled” by Tides Collide

The seemingly never ending stream of talent emanating from the hotbed that is Australia in recent times has been nothing short of incredible. It has become a running joke that everyone in the country seems to be in a up and coming band or a promising Olympian. Maybe there is something in the water. The latest band out of the country hail from Melbourne, a Metalcore quintet comprising vocalist Tom McNulty, guitarist Justin Wong, drummer Angus Wang and bassist Jared Fulton form Tides Collide, who are preparing to unveil their self titled debut, six track EP…

…The Metalcore genre tag is something we’re going to debate in this review, particularly as Tom McNulty has a distinctive Death Metal vocal style. Opening track “Outlier” crosses the fine line between Melodic Death Metal and Metalcore on multiple occasions with breakdowns, solos and lead flourishes all present and a hallmark part of the bands sound. There are times when Wong does the work of two guitarists with some neat overlayed parts although there is the odd occasion where there is the lack of punch in the rhythm section that a second guitar would bring, however that is partly down to the mixing. Clean vocals appear in “Lost Sight” as well as a gang chant, giving it a finely balanced melody that leads to an obvious “Alive or Just Breathing?” era  Killswitch Engage comparison in the way that the song is constructed. The vocal styles work well together, the deeper unclean giving a sharper edge to the track and the skillful execution means no slow down breaking the flow. The slower “One Final Effort“, with its melancholy overtones has hints at influence from early All That Remains with that 2000’s era raw sound before everything got over produced. A more melodic track it offers the sing-a-long ability that should see it go down well live, especially after a few cold ones.

One of two pre-release singles “Crowned” brings the breakdowns with some staccato moments allowing for Fulton’s meaty bass line to bleed through. A sinister churning riff section of repeating breakdowns continues that nostalgic vibe and will see OG Metalcore fans warming to it nicely. “Not The End” offers up stop start patterns and a greater emotional resonance that helps to create that all important listener connection. This song could easily be reworked as a straight up radio friendly rocker but Tides Collide stamp on it lifts everything and gives it that bigger hit that is often lacking in such things. In places it has that shoe gazing quality while in others it’s an arena filling anthem. Brutal uncleans against a background of clean guitars with Jazz nuances that is “Truenorth” is much more of a tune that grows on you with repeated listens, more of an experiment than the earlier cuts but the band deserve credit for being brave enough to put it out there [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Outlier
  2. Lost Sight
  3. One Final Effort
  4. Crowned
  5. Not The End
  6. Truenorth

Self Titled” by Tides Collide is out 6th June and available for pre-order over at bandcamp.

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