Review Summary: Do not be fooled by the label, this is not a typical Rise Records band
“Empire Theory,” brought to you by progressive post hardcore new bloods: Tides of Man is an exceptional album. Blending a sense of progression without fully implementing it, while weaving emotionally captivating vocals and engaging guitar and drum work; Tides of Man will keep you on the tips of your toes just waiting to see what they are going to pull out of their box of tricks next.
The melodies delivered by Tilian Pearson come across as similar to that of Anthony Green’s work with Circa Survive
with a flair and emotional edge that I have not heard among this genre. The aggressive feeling and heightened angst at times could be compared to Claudio Sanchez. It is very clear that Pearson has been heavily influenced by both of these vocalists, however he does not seem like a copycat, his style still comes across as extremely unique and although I cannot make out the characteristic he is nonetheless a phenomenal vocalist. Easily the most standout feature of the album and the band as a whole.
The title track is one of the standout tracks on the album, and along with “Knowing” is a good place to see what to expect from the majority of the album. All in all it is very dynamic, eerie, and musically rich. The sense of progression is easy to grasp and the melody is catchy and emotionally charged. “Knowing” and “Not My Love” are by far the most memorable tracks on the album. While the other songs bring new elements to the table from and album perspective, they clearly do not hold the glory of the for mention tracks. In all reality these songs would be phenomenal standouts on any other album, but the fact of the matter is that the tracks that tend to hold attention the most readily are so massive and outstanding that they raise the bar far above the other tracks.
The most important thing to understand on this album is that Tides of Man is a very musically proficient band as a whole. Josh Gould does and exceptional job of blending technically proficient drum fills while keeping an impeccable sense of groove to the mix, “Mercy” is a prime example of this. The guitar work throughout the album is acute, melodic, energetic and surprising. At times it is laid back and ambient and at other times it is heavy and radiating with energy. What bring it all together are the seamless transitions between these two feelings. The only real musicality complaint to be found is that the only time the bass is clearly audible and doing interesting things are during the instrumental breaks, the second TIlian begins to sing the bass parts just follow the guitar work with little to no variance. Not that this is a terrible drawback; it would just be nice to hear a bit of change occasionally.
The lyrics throughout the album are thought provoking, gripping and emotional in themselves. These lyrics are truly profound throughout the album and the delivery of them only adds to the greatness of the whole thing. It is challenging to find one set of lyrics that truly shine above the rest as they all seem to be on a high level. Not to say that some lyrics are not weaker than others as the majority of them tend to be very on par with themselves.
Tides of Man created a very high energy and musically powerful release. It is thought provoking, emotionally gripping, musically epic and catchy all on the same side of the coin, a feat few bands can pull off on a sophomore release, let alone a debut. It flows nicely from start to finish, makes great use of every band member and brands a unique style while not becoming over the top or boring. Tides of Man has set the bar high for progressive post hardcore music and I look forward to whatever members of this band do in the future.
Not My Love