Before Nevada-based noiseniks Weight of the Tide washed up on these shores, I confess I knew very little of the band or their escapades and resorted to trawling Bandcamp to see what was in store. Back in 2015 the band released their debut EP Epilogue which thankfully proved to be a real misnomer, and debut album All Told eventually emerged into the Nevada sun.
Consisting almost entirely of sombre tones and slow- to mid-paced tempos, along with soaring clean singing, All Told sounds like now-defunct metallers Exit Ten channelling their inner Paradise Lost. Opening with title track ‘All Told’, Weight of the Tide waste no time in setting the mood for the album, with its hypnotic feedback leading into a swirling, melancholic guitar line that only pauses for brief moments of respite before plunging back under into the deeps. Rather than monolithic, heaving riffs, the band rely instead on the emotional heft of the songs for heaviness, all five tracks on the album dripping with sadness, loss and despair, lending a true feeling of submersion to proceedings.
That’s not to say the whole album stagnates in its slow tempos; there is ebb and flow here, with some tracks employing faster tempos such as on ‘The End Becomes You’ but even with this the songs still manage to feel slow and dirge-like due to vocalist Mark Moots doing his best Nick Holmes impression. His voice soars, infusing the songs with an almost operatic, theatrical sense of sadness. Closer ‘For All Tomorrows’ is the longest track here at just shy of 8 minutes, drenched in gloomy atmosphere and yet more despair and longing, suffocating in its entirety with even the instrumental or softer passages offering little reprieve and is one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Musically there appears to be more in common with the aforementioned Exit Ten injected with a hefty dose of doom and gloom, with the guitars tending to swirl and drone rather than any recognisable riffs; given the despairing mood that Weight of the Tide seemed to be aiming to create this works in their favour rather than against them, though it can mean that songs do blur together a little with few distinguishing marks.
The shortness of the album does bear mentioning – despite music of this ilk lending itself to longer songs and oftentimes more drawn out albums, All Told manages to maintain a feeling of brevity despite its plodding and mid-tempo chugging, with all five tracks clocking in together at under 30 minutes. Despite this the album can feel like it drags; whilst opening track ‘All Told’ and closer ‘For All Tomorrows’ bookend the album with well-composed gloomy soundscapes, the middle of the album feels a little too cookie-cutter, doing little to distinguish itself, but is by no means bad.
Weight of the Tide have crafted a monolith to longing and despair that drags the listener into its gloomy depths, showcasing some impressive atmospheres and a robust production that doesn’t let any part overpower another, but without being particularly dynamic. There’s nothing ground-breaking here, but if you like your metal with clean vocals and more doom and gloom than you can shake a stick at, you could do a lot worse than giving All Told a spin.
Highlights: All Told, For All Tomorrows