Red Tide Rising – Voices EP
Label: Vanity Music/Sony Red
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Denver’s Red Tide Rising is constantly working to tighten and refine its sound, a journey that continues on its latest EP, Voices. In an era where digital downloads often overshadow the creative process of creating fully developed albums, Colorado’s youthful, heavy-weight quartet has often been in an internal struggle over writing radio friendly singles versus building a cohesive collection of songs. With the band’s latest EP, it has found a middle ground that allows for a sonically unified effort that is still accessible. The fact, that this is only 5-tracks long is perhaps the lone nod to the sometimes attention deficit shortage that plagues music these days.
The current iteration of the band, featuring brothers Andrew Whiteman (guitars) and Matthew Whiteman (vocals) along with Michael LeBois (bass) and Matt Guerin (drums); has been together for a solid couple of years now, and that chemistry can be heard in the songs on Voices. Drowning Pool drummer Mike Luce produced the EP and lends some co-writing creds to the effort.
While not necessarily a concept effort of any sort there is a thematic thread to Voices, sometimes implicitly stated, other times inferred. There is significant emotion behind the delivery of each song, the most prominent of which is a tightly coiled sense of rage. Musically, Red Tide Rising tap into an amalgamated coalescence of their collective influences like Sevendust, Slipknot, Godsmack, Drowning Pool, A Perfect Circle and the like, all filtered through their unique perspective and personal experiences.
Voices opening track, “Writing on the Wall” rolls in with a foreboding, cinematic wave of quiet guitars and tone-setting drum work that pave the way for Matthew’s vocals which bend between edgy cleans and harsh attacks. The song is a heavy and disquieting affair that creates a mood for the rest of the EP: There is no getting emotionally comfortable with Voices.
“You’re Nothing (But Shit)” has something of a Disturbed bent to it, from Matthew’s vocal delivery to Andrew’s razor wire riffing, to the rhythmic bounce of the melody. The angry contempt of the lyrics plays counterpoint to the addictively catchy middle-finger in your face chorus.
Somber piano notes fall like droplets of blood on cold cement to open “Suffocate”, a track that builds with grinding urgency into a maelstrom of emotive angst. The song’s outro rides away with a bleak choral harmony.
The band’s aforementioned sense of rage is palpable on “The Sound of Voices Screaming”, with Matthew once again splitting his vocals between baleful harsh attacks and melodic clean moments. This is one of the album’s most aggressive tracks and one can almost envision how well this will play in a live setting.
The EP’s heaviest track comes in the form of “New Breed”, a pummeling affair which showcases Guerin’s solid stick and footwork. Caustic verse vocals set the stage for a hooky chorus that mixes clean harmonies and acerbic growls: A crushing end to the Voices EP.
Red Tide Rising have spent years on the fringe of breaking from a regional to national act. The band’s previous album, The Rising, gave the band a strong push toward that goal. With Voices, Red Tide Rising has delivered a shot across the bow of modern metal’s somewhat complacent bow. It is the band’s strongest collection of songs to date and a promising nod to the band’s future.