One word came to my mind when I heard “Black Tides Of Obscurity”: confusing. Like the strange cover with the goat and the kraken, or whatever the hell that is. Earth Rot on their third full-length album (they have also released two EPs) presents an extreme metal which is probably lost somewhere inside its experimental self.
The quartet from Perth in faraway Australia plays music based on death metal and specifically the Swedish/Dutch of the old-school, something that can be clearly seen from the characteristic sound on the guitars. In the ten tracks of “Black Tides Of Obscurity”, however, they try things without much success and I don’t know if they did the same in their previous works.
For example, there are several melodic/atmospheric black metal influences on the tracks, with some of them clearly going there instead of staying on the death side. We will also hear some acoustic cuts, disharmonious riffs, as well as…a hard rock rhythm in “The Cape Of Storms”. The worst of these experiments is “Out In The Cold” which closes the album, a short acoustic country(!) composition with ridiculous vocals that honestly has absolutely no reason to exist.
Since I mentioned the vocals, let me also say that they are a serious disadvantage here. In pure death metal moments are fine, but in the rest they sound full of effects, very strange and even irritating. Too bad, because if the band chose to write more songs in the style of “Towards A Godless Shrine” or “Unparalleled Gateways To Higher Obliteration” we would have a better result. These are death metal dynamites with devastating drumming and awesome riffs without unnecessary additions.
I’m not saying it’s not nice to see bands experimenting and not being one-dimensional in what they do. But I think Earth Rot overdid it, since the final impression is what I wrote at the beginning, a confusing album. I really couldn’t tell if it had more or less interesting parts compared to the indifferent ones.