A review by The Buried Herald
🌊 Let the heaviness flow 🌊
High Tide is a blissful EP recently put out by Antumbra, a Polish formation hailing from the coastal city of Szczecin. Being the band's first official output, this record is not only a piece of finely produced music but also a statement in itself. It basically says: ‘We are Antumbra, we origin from dreams of the desert and fear not to embark on the unpredictable quest for sonic exploration.”. This my friends, is yet another example of that the banner of heavy music flies high above the Polish soil and doesn’t cease to burn, expand and breed new talent.
As you might expect, ‘High Tide’ doesn’t last long but those 25 minutes are enough for you to sink deep in the hazy dimension of Antumbra’s music. Each track is rather lengthy and has a character of its own yet all 4 of them fall under one roof that is characterized by catchy grooves, clean vocals and a powerful instrumental punch to the guts. The cult of the riff is prevalent here but make no mistake, this EP is by no means your typical stoner shred. For instance, the opening White Noise has this tight and recurring, post-rock/grunge-like riff that every now and then backs off to let the track breathe. This dance eventually bursts into flames and gives way for a rabid guitar solo that is accompanied by some heavy drum pounding. And Michał’s percussion work is perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the record. It’s powerful, well-articulated and adds plenty of depth to this endeavor.
After just a few minutes of listening to High Tide I immediately noticed the clarity and freshness of the mix. However, I feel that in order to fully appreciate it, you need to play it LOUD! The captivating guitar riff in Nuclear Sky just begs for some volume as does the gradually increasing tension in the beginning of the song. And while in general all instruments have a say here, to my mind the track could use more bass or at least give it more room to shine… Whoa, hold your horses mister Herald! There comes (No one mourns) the wicked and the bass returns in all its glory. The song opens up with deep bass bellows mixed with some intricate percussion rattling that gradually enfolds until Tomek’s voice enters the arena. It doesn’t take long for the guitar to crack down and the vocals to turn to a grittier, megaphone-like exclamation reminiscent of some of RATM’s or Rob Zombie’s vocal plays.
Towards the end of the EP we got a closer titled All Art is Useless where part of the lyrics is inspired by the philosophy of art of Oscar Wilde. But that is not nearly half as exciting as the musical dimension of this cut. The track flows and ebbs towards the sky and even slightly touches on the realm of electronic music, especially during the first minute. The atmosphere here is somewhat ethereal and could feel even more so if the mellow tempo was to be maintained throughout the whole length of the track. Yet the swift and energetic pace with which the guys push on is admirable as it nevertheless preserves the all so charming and melancholic vibe.
‘High Tide’ by Antumbra is a successful plunge into the restless waters of heavy music. Their effort to paint a cohesive soundscape while staying open to various genre infiltration commands respect as does the EP’s meticulous production. And while I am hungry for more, I shall patiently wait for that long play to arrive. Until then, let us cherish this hazy versatility and the overarching will to forge passion into a unique sonic entity that this album represents.
🌊 🌊 🌊
Thanks for the read and be sure to listen to High Tide, support Antumbra and follow them on their socials: