Tides Of Man

Empire Theory

Written by: TL on 13/10/2009 00:01:38

Good evening readers! It is fairly late, I am fairly tired, and hence I'll skip my usual ranting introductions and get right down to business: "Empire Theory", the debut LP of Tampa, Florida based five piece Tides Of Man, has been a hard album to review, and here's why: You ever discovered a new band, listened to their album, and found their sound to be rockin' and awesome, yet even after several listens, you were still hard pressed to name a song off the record? If yes, then know that this is the kind of record "Empire Theory" is.

Soundwise, TOM immediately strike me as being similar to Circa Survive, but the further you get into the album, the more you have to recognize the many references to classic and progressive rock, especially the more psychedelic and ambitious compositions of mighty Led Zeppelin come to mind, and as such, this band ends up aligned rather firmly with other worshipers of that kind of stuff - Three and Coheed & Cambria being likely points of comparison.

What sets the band apart however, is that TOM are far from as patient and subtle as Three, and far from as friendly as Co&Ca. This becomes apparent already in opener "Knowing That You've Already Arrived", during the haunting chorus of which leading man Tilian Pearson demonstrates a wicked, throat-shattering semi-scream, the likes of which I have rarely heard since one Anthony Green's early performances. However, during the many atmospheric and tranquil parts that fall between displays of excessive soloing or dramatic climaxes in the rather epic compositions, it really is hard to avoid thinking of Claudio Sanchez and Co&Ca. Even the effects on Pearson's vocals is often frighteningly similar to the one Sanchez often uses, and the quirky, experimental guitar lines that take front stage in the sound is often also similar to what you'd expect from his band.

Still though, I must emphasize that Co&Ca fans shouldn't throw themselves at this record indiscriminately, because they'll find themselves looking in vain for any sugary choruses or cute romanticism. TOM seem completely disinterested in dumbing down their proggy endeavors with any elements from pop, and this is both to their merit and perhaps their demise. On one hand, for the nerdier music fans, like me, it's quite nice to get wrapped up in a record that isn't out to compromise for anyone, rather taking it's style to an extreme, but on the other hand, when even I have a hard time finding fix points for my memory to latch onto, I suspect that most casual listeners will be severely lost on a journey through "Empire Theory".

Now, I'd recommend giving this whole disc a spin, simply because the expression Tides Of Man have managed to construct is quite staggering to behold, but if you're in a hurry or just impatient in general, I guess I could suggest "Knowing That You've Already Arrived", "Not My Love" and the title track as highlights that you can check out first. However, I expect that you'll find the same thought that I find, namely that Tides Of Man have great potential, yet need to find a way to make their stuff even more memorable, without compromising their integrity, if they really want to shred with the big boys.

Download: Knowing That You've Already Arrived, Not My Love, Empire Theory
For The Fans Of: Circa Survive, Coheed & Cambria, Three
Listen: myspace.com/tidesofman

Release Date 04.08.2009
Rise Records

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