"Light from Above" (Interscope; 2008)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The talented young members of Black Tide secured a spot on the second stage OzzFest 2007 only be kicked off as a result of perceived problems related to the band’s youth and the second stage sponsor (an alcoholic beverage company). Yet Black Tide were able to be the opening act on the main stage most shows thereafter to avoid bad publicity.

What impressed everyone in the metal community was that the band members had not yet reached the age of 20 – in fact, frontman Gabriel Garcia was 15 years old at the time of the release of “Light from Above” in March 2008.

Youth aside, “Light from Above” features a sound that is reminiscent of late ‘80s metal that successfully blends melodic sensibilities with harder edges. I hear a lot of the Motley Crue style and Saigon Kick debut in Black Tide. At this point in time I get the sense that Black Tide is a buzz band that generates a ton of initial excitement and then retreats to a solid if not unspectacular career (see Silverchair or Danko Jones as reference points). A solid cover of Metallica’s “Hit the Lights” is included.

“Light from Above” is an enjoyable effort that should attract a lot of attention; but it remains to be seen if the band has any real staying power.

“Light from Above” was produced, recorded and mixed by Johnny K.

Black Tide: Gabriel Garcia on lead vocals and lead guitar, Alexander Nunez on guitar, Zachary Sandler on bass, and Steven Spence on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Jun 2018 20:14:11 -0400.