Souls Of Tide - 'Join The Circus'

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Souls Of Tide - 'Join The Circus'

Once I had digested the songs several times they became more than palatable.

I'm beginning to feel like the Swedish chef off The Muppet Show these days. It seems there is a different flavour emerging from either Sweden or one of its Scandinavian neighbours every single week. Yours truly then gathers the ingredients from each one, and carefully creates a recipe (or review) for your consumption. Whether you try these recipes is totally down to you, but if you do, prepare to either; a) become addicted and gorge yourself, b) try it, like it, but decide it'll just be an occasional treat, or c) try it, then spit it out, never to devour again. Personally, I'm a man of simple tastes, but I will try anything once; especially if it's served up in an appetizing manner.

This latest recipe is taken from Norwegian cuisine; however, the dominant flavours throughout are most definitely derivative of late sixties/early seventies Classic Rock. This debut album has been simmering nicely since Souls Of Tide's inception in 2014. Band members Vegar Larsen (vocals), Ole Kristian Østby (lead guitar), Anders Langberg (guitar), Øyvind Strõnen Johannesen (bass), Kjetil Banken (Hammond Organ) and Tommy Kristiansen (drums) have obviously taken time to hone their skills, and now 'Join The Circus' has finally come to the boil.

I wasn't overly enamoured by the album initially, but once I had digested the songs several times they became more than palatable. Opener 'She's Dead' is certainly no Hors d'oeuvre; it's a pedal-to-the-metal song and it's instantly evident that Black Sabbath (circa 'Sabotage') and Deep Purple (circa 'In Rock') are bona fide stimuli for SOT. Larsen's vocal style is illustrative of early Classic Rock, at times sounding eerily analogous to Ozzy Osbourne. But for me, it's the pounding, primal bass and drums of Johannsen and Kristiansen respectively that give the album potency. 'Join The Circus', 'Once Again', 'Easy Love' and 'Spray-Tan Magic' also impress; the latter includes a nice exchange between Østby's guitar and Banken's Hammond (an unsullied reminder of those halcyon days of Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord). It's always a comfort hearing a Hammond, but SOT accommodate it sparingly, yet seductively as a retro-garnish, rather than an over-indulgence. 'Devils' and 'Faith' exhibit the band's more subdued side.

It may only be a short album, but Souls Of Tide seem to be cooking with gas and have served up a traditional platter of Rock for you to munch on at your leisure. "Bon appetit"!!

Dave Crompton

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