Review by Arek on March 29, 2016.
October Tide is five Swedes who served us up this rather emotional album. Winged Waltz is their fifth studio album and the third one after nearly 11 year 1999 break-up. Eight compositions of melancholic death-doom metal enmesh our senses for 50 minutes and 25 seconds. The album was recorded in a Swedish Wing Studios; the author of the quite ascetic album cover is Albin Högbom and how did this release end up under the wing of the fast growing Agonia Records, will remain their sweet mystery.
‘Swarm’ opens up the album. It’s a quite slow, melodic composition, but it is not devoid of death metal harshness in a shape of ‘dirty’ Swedish sounding guitars and deep growls by Alexander Högbom. ‘Sleepless Sun’ continues in melancholic nature of the album and interesting drum-bass interlude, slow section in the second part of the song, and rabid growls of Alexander attest that this is not a nice bedtime lullaby. With this piece Agony Rec. promotes the fifth album of the Swedes. Darkness, anger and sadness seep through all the pores in each track. They’re toying with us here and there with great drum-bass interludes and sometimes Jocke Wallgren will up it on his double base but generally it’s quite slow, but certainly not boring. These are not some nice and calm bedtime stories. All in all it was taken care of by Fredrik Norrman and it seems that years spent in cold Sweden have done it for him. Every now and then they’ll move slightly into a more death metal territory such as in ‘Reckless Abandon’ but in the next moment their unspeakable doom-nostalgic horns will come out like in ‘Lost in the Rapture’.
This is October Tide 2016 A.D. At this time I would also like to highlight ‘Perilous’ which is probably my favorite. Whole Winged Waltz is an exceptionally solid album, but in this particular piece there’s so much emotion that mere words will not express its magnitude. It is a conglomerate of differences: wailing guitars and vocal roar. With the ending song titled ‘Coffins Of November’ they simply mangle all the remaining alive neurons. It’s at the end of this over an 8-minute funeral story when Jocke will ramp up the drum speed for a while to then allow the album to fade away undisturbed. Winged Waltz is the answer to how much sadness and anger has accumulated through these 3 years in their cold Swedish hearts. It is also an illustration of how using simple and traditional measures (vocal, guitar and drums) supported by imagination and amazing musical skill form an astounding work of art. October Tide via Agonia Records and with my humble acceptance would like to invite you to indulge in this musical delicacy.
Rating: 9 out of 10