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Rain Without End (1997)

Rain Without End is the first full-length from October Tide, a side project of members from Sweden's Katatonia. Appropriately enough, I first discovered this album on a rainy day, many years ago. As I write this, the sky is gloomy and the cold rain has been falling for hours. A perfectly miserable atmosphere for such bleak music.

October Tide's debut L.P. was recorded in 1995, between Katatonia's For Funerals To Come E.P. and the Brave Murder Day album, despite not being released until 1997. This album has the distinction of featuring the final harsh vocal performance of Jonas Renkse, as he had tortured his throat beyond repair.

Stylistically, October Tide does not deviate from the established Katatonia sound of this era. One may wonder why this album was released under a different name, since it features the same melodic Doom Metal found on Katatonia albums. One reason may be that Anders Nyström was preoccupied with other projects, such as Diabolical Masquerade.

What one finds on Rain Without End is a more coherent version of Katatonia. The riffs are mid-paced doom and the trademark melodies and acoustic passages are present. Average song length is roughly five to six minutes. There's enough variation to keep things moving, yet not so much that is distracts from the flow of the song. The somber melodies and tortured vocals work, beautifully, to create a very bleak and dismal album that is unmistakably Swedish.

Standout tracks include "12 Days of Rain" and "Infinite Submission". This is nearly impossible to find, without paying a small fortune, as it has been long out of print. If you see it somewhere, do yourself a favor and pick it up. Fans of old Katatonia will not be disappointed.
(28 Apr. 2008)

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