Winged Waltz brings a doom-death performance steeped in 90s styling that is like a slowed down version of Opeth’s My Arms, Your Hearse. October Tide’s main tools are trudging guitars and guttural growls punctuated with airy screams. While the vocals and guitar alone are competent enough to establish a consistent mood, the rest of the performance suffers under the fist of the production.
The percussion and bass are pushed way back to the point where the bass is only heard while going solo and the drums are but a whisper. An attentive ear will find that the drummer is going all out, but it sounds like they’re playing in a venue on the other side of town.
Having only two strong elements in the music results in Winged Waltz lacking features and texture. The performance is monotone at best, which is especially damning when all the songs are clocking in at over five minutes. It is easy to get lost in the album, not in a fascinating hypnotic way, but out of sheer confusion. It’s kind of like being stuck in a really lame forest where there’s no chance you’ll run out of supplies and occasionally a cardboard cut-out boogey man jumps around a tree and says, “Boo.”
Winged Waltz has solid aspects, but only possesses enough content to reasonably fill an EP. The album begs for a serious editorial trim and fixing the production. There’s a good album buried somewhere in here, but it’s probably not worth the massive effort needed to excavate it.