Tideless - Eye of Water

Angry Metal Guy 40

Where I work, it’s not uncommon for the company to hire plucky, hungry college students and grads straight from the classroom, and immediately throw them into roles that, more often than not, they’re not well-prepared for. Whether it’s because they’ve never been in a warehouse environment, or they’ve never held a job in their lives, these poor souls are usually tossed into a shark tank that’s well above their heads in the hopes that changes in infrastructure and boss/employee relations can (and will) be made, dammit, and in their defense, they are… just usually for the worse. Realistic expectations be damned, it’s not a case of “can you do this” but rather “should you do this” when it comes to a youngster yelling at the person who’s training them. Ninety percent of the time, reality sucker-punches them back down to earth, and yet the process continues on, and on, and on.

Where am I getting at with this review? We have an incredibly hungry, ambitious doom/death quintet in San Diego’s Tideless. Many of its members served time in other bands, so experience really isn’t the issue here. What is the issue lies in the fact that Tideless, on their second full-length, is punching well above their weight class. And nothing screams “punching up” quite like a 75-minute double album of Deafheavenly delights. Making this even worse is the fact that ideas are so drawn out that they’re milked to levels beyond anemic.

Eye of Water by Tideless

Take opening instrumental “Drowning (19° 40′ 49″ N, 99° 0′ 36″ W),” the shortest song on here at just under seven minutes. Within the song lies a guitar melody that, upon first listen, grasps your attention. Sadly, Tideless must really like that melody, because it would be repeated for almost two minutes before we get to an atmospheric part to break up the monotony, before going back again with that same damn guitar melody for another two minutes. The rest of the album follows suit in milking riffs and ideas. The gruff, indiscernible growling of drummer Kyle Armendariz doesn’t help matters much, causing a considerable amount of bleed-through on an album that really could benefit from some major trimming. It’s only when they (thankfully) pick up the pace, such as the As the Flower Withers My Dying Bride-style opening of ” Oblations of the Sun,” where things get somewhat memorable.

This is a shame because Eye of Water, from a production standpoint, sounds lush and beautiful. The guitars shimmer like water during the atmospheric bits, yet provide enough bite when it comes to the scant few tremolo parts. Armendariz’s drums sound fantastic, which is a boon as he’s proven to be a tremendous drummer. But none of that discards the fact that it’s too bloated. 75 minutes is a lot to ask of anyone, so before you Bell Witch people over the head, ask yourself this very important question: can I say as much, if not more, with less? Because there is some serious repetition going on here that doesn’t need to happen.

I can’t fault their ambition, though. Tideless displayed some major talent and a couple of good ideas, but they need to find a way to not drive those ideas into and through the earth. That ambition will carry them to greater heights in due time if they can do some major, and I do mean major, tightening. And they’re going to have to tighten because, as it stands right now, Eye of Water personifies the phrase, “Your mileage will greatly vary.”

Rating: 2.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Chaos Records
Websites: tideless.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/tidelessdoom
Releases Worldwide: September 15th, 2023

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Wed Sep 20 09:27:03 GMT 2023