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'Tunnel of No Light'
(Pulverised Records)

jools green

Jools Green

october tide

Swedish pessimists 'October Tide' return with their fourth doom drenched offering, 'Tunnel Of No Light', which follows on from their 2010 release 'A Thin Shell' and is guaranteed to drag your dampened soul deeper into the dark abyss of misery.

Matthias Norrman (ex-Katatonia) and Alexander Högbom (Volturyon, Spasmodic) have taken over the bass and vocal duties for this release on which the band take their inspiration from the loosely themed avant-garde artwork by Johannes Nordqvist Högbom. their sound remains as dark, daring, concise and contemporary as ever, maintaining their position as, to quote the band, "The Purveyors of the Unlight".

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Right from the opening note on 'Of wounds to Come' you are bathed in an atmosphere of doom. The vocals kick in and those magnificent harsh rasping growls and screams reach into your chest cavity, rip out your heart and stamp on it. A beautiful beginning followed by the excellent morbid groove to 'Our Constellation', which sits so well with its relentlessly harsh vocals.

'Emptiness Fulfilled' has an almost dark exotic sound to the opening riffs before opening out into a more haunting style, again with more harrowing vocals. You can imagine yourself gazing out over a desolate view as you listen.

The shortest track at just under five minutes is 'Caught in Silence' and can only be described as bleakly beautiful. One of the other things that I love about this album is that although the vocals are harsh they are perfectly comprehensible. There is a slower, almost funereal tempo to, 'The Day I Dissolved' which shapes up to be another beautifully bleak track.

Do I detect an air of misanthropic happiness woven into the riffs on 'Watching the Drowners'? Well that may be an overstatement but it is certainly the most upbeat of these dark offerings.

'In Hopeless Pursuit' has a faster tempo with a dirty almost distorted edge to the riffs which drop away around the midway to an ear shredding, pulsating resonance before chugging riffs and distorted whispering vocals start to bring the pace back up to a melancholic level.

The final track, 'Adoring Ashes' has doom laden riffs with a cleverly, slightly discordant edge in places. There is an excellent mix of harsh growls and screams woven with picked guitar work that eventually tails away to just bass and crashing cymbals creating a magnificently moody end to a magnificent album.

This album is an absolute masterpiece of misery. Every track is fully listenable and the level of musicianship is excellent. This is guaranteed to put a wry misanthropic smile on the face of even the worst of us.

'Tunnel Of No Light' was recorded , mixed and mastered at Black Lounge Studios, Sweden. It was produced/engineered by Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry, Sonic Syndicate). If you are a fan of Katatonia, Daylight Dies, In Mourning, or Swallow The Sun, you should really enjoy 'Tunnel Of No Light'. The album is available now on Pulverised Records.

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