I came into this review off the back of reviewing the latest Deicide record, which by the way, is rather good. That led me into an inevitable trip back into old Death Metal favorites like Carcass and Morbid Angel. So, to then immerse myself into this collection of work was nice and timely. I had previously heard of Tides of Man through their one-time vocalist, Tillian Pearson, having helped the much loved Saosin some years back with some demo’s when they were between singers. I’d have preferred if they had stuck with him rather than bringing back the hugely overrated and very annoyingly voiced Anthony Green, but that’s a different matter altogether.
When Pearson left Tides of Man to join Saosin, they somewhere along the line decided to not replace him. Now on album number four, the second without vocals, Tides of Man have written the material of their lives. The promo blurb that accompanied Every Nothing claims the following; “With no words to direct the listeners thoughts, the movement of the music can be truly meaningful.” Well boys, your press person hit a home run with that one. Every Nothing is truly breathtaking instrumental music in a way that few others have achieved.
Reviewing stuff like this is hard. Ultimately people want reference points, which is why most read reviews of bands they don’t already know. I will do my best. Imagine the prettiest parts of say ISIS and Pelican, cross pollinated with Slowdive and Cocteau Twins, and you’re in the right suburb, but maybe not quite at your destination. What I did whilst listening to Every Nothing in preparation to write this review is I went back and listened to the two Tides of Man records with Pearson, and found that having another aspect (vocals) to their music restricted them from what has come to be. Yes, Tides of Man were never your average post-hardcore rock band, and had progressive elements that were present and enjoyable. Not having to think about vocals truly has a caterpillar to butterfly effect.
Every Nothing is sensational, and truly an audible journey of epic proportions. It never becomes overblown or pretentious, which would be easy to do in this musical realm. The performances are all for the overall good of the soundscape. Now and again some wondrous bass lines do take center stage, but for the most part everything moves as one, transporting us to various places in our imagination. The only criticism, and it is minor at best, is that the song ‘Old 88’ seems out of place, and bordering on clumsy and lifeless in the context of the entire record. I never felt the need to skip it, BUT it’s the only track I would not miss. It just doesn’t do what every other track on Every Nothing does, and that’s move me. However, when you have songs like ‘Mosaic’ and ‘Mercury Fields,’ it’s a forgivable misstep.
Every Nothing by Tides of Man is one of those releases where it doesn’t matter what your friends are into, you want them to give this a go, I am super glad I did.