Artist: In Depths & Tides
Album: In Depths & Tides – EP
Barring some extreme examples, there’s a common conception that to add “progressive” to your genre means to inherently sacrifice at least some degree of heaviness and intensity from your sound. The minute you see that prefix, you instantly—probably even subconsciously—categorize it in the “this probably won’t make me want to fight ten men” or “chill music” playlist. This seems especially true with metalcore and deathcore—as segments of songs reserved for spine-shattering breakdowns are used instead for crystalline interludes or anthemic, cleanly-sung segments. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that—hell, there are countless progressive acts that make jaw-dropping, beautiful music; it just isn’t heavy, at least not most of the time. Like I said, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule—there are exceptions:
In Depths & Tides are one of them.
While their sophomore EP Shroud proved they had bombastic heaviness enough to ride with some of metalcore’s heaviest hitters, the band’s three track 2017 EP adds even more dazzling instrumentation and splashes of progressive nature to the band’s dynamic—all without sacrificing riveting, ruthless aggression. With three tracks (but nearly fifteen minutes) of terror to unleash upon the listener, In Depths & Tides’ self-titled release is an excellent example of pointed, punchy, powerhouse metalcore that is far from the genre’s “standard fare.”
Bold, bouncy and brutal, In Depths & Tides waste little time on their short-but-sweet sampler of sinister, soul-shredding metalcore when it comes to showing the listener what they have to offer. From the opening salvo of “Parallel,” drummer Tanner De Mott is marvelous—fast, fluid and technically proficient, he brings everything a metalcore act needs with no filler and plenty of intensity. “Cortex” even further highlights De Mott’s talent—as his fleet feet and fast hands steamroll a wide open foundation for guitarists Matty Connolly and Brandon Osborn to groove, riff and chug their way over the listener, leaving them flattened and lifeless. Connolly and Osborn work together, aided by bassist Zack Chevrier-Ferreira, to create marvelous and intricate soundscapes that combine technical skill with raw, instinctual aggravation. “Omnifectorium,” and really the entirety of the EP, capture this—with Chevrier-Ferreira’s bass booming with a thick, girth roar beneath the sharp riffs and insidious grooves from Connolly and Osborn. In Depths & Tides are a tremendous act—and while their latest EP is a little too brief to highlight the true musical variety the band hints at, the EP is still a solid teaser.
Shroud earned notoriety due to In Depths & Tides’ once-frontman, Ben Duerr, who seemed to depart just as his rocket to stardom took flight. This left the group in a precarious scenario—as who was going to be talented (and crazy) enough to try and fill Duerr’s shoes? Current frontman Jake Maki is who—and he does so brilliantly. Fifteen minutes of vocal excellent, Maki’s voice is ferocious, sharp and scathing—dominating with blistering, beefy low grows and thick, gritty mid-range yells that soar into sky-scraping shrieks. Where the band’s instrumentation feels slightly samey throughout the brief release—as it seems almost as if fifteen minutes doesn’t really give them enough time to establish and build a dynamic of their own—Maki shines throughout the entirety of the album. “Cortex” sees him at a lyrical peak, where his fresh-out-of-the-gate energy on “Parallel” is simply unstoppable. In short, while I wouldn’t want to fill Duerr’s shoes, Maki is more than up to the task, and In Depths & Tides’ EP is proof.
The truest “flaw” with the group’s 2017 release is simply the lack of content—as it seems to end just as the band really get rolling. Because of this, the listener is left with a tinge of want for more of the group’s raunchy, stuttering heaviness and quick, crushing segments. That said, this “problem” is transiently fixed by just playing the damn thing over again; but it doesn’t remedy the notion that the band only barely seem to reach a true dynamic, with much of “Parallel” and “Omnifectorium” spent jumping back and forth between fast-and-Slow extremes. At the end of the day, the brief, bold and blistering EP is evidence that, in 2017, it’s still possibly to be proggy and pack a wallop—making this release something enthusiasts of extreme music should make a point to pick up.
For Fans Of: Veil Of Maya, Structures, Born Of Osiris, Sentinels
By: Connor Welsh