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High Tide - Open Season CD (album) cover


High Tide


Heavy Prog

3.19 | 9 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A good compilation with deceptive cover art

This compilation, released in 2000, is a nice collection of unreleased and new material from the masters of heavy prog, High Tide. While some of the tracks appear on their later albums, this one is mostly full of rarities which automatically makes this attractive to High Tide fans and people who like their prog with a distorted guitar. One wonders why they made the cover art so close to their debut album (although perhaps it was to make the package look like the debut for poor suckers who aren't too familiar with the band.... something I'm guilty of!) especially since none of the material comes from that album. The art very much suits the title of the disc though, with the four horsemen ravaging some people in what would appear to be open hunting season. The rest of the booklet is quite attractively put together, the inner liner notes folding out to reveal band pictures and marques with the other side being a large, full color painting of what appears to be the Flying Dutchman on a stormy night. Very cool indeed. I may have never heard to Black Widow Records before, but they did a good job here.

Ah, right, the music. What we have here a long list of tunes with a very mixed bag of track times, all consistently enjoyable and all very heavy. The recording dates on the songs range form 1970 to 2000 with a bunch that fall somewhere in between, but they all feel at home on the compilation (not like putting Firth Of Fifth next to Invisible Touch on a Genesis compilation, for example). The quality of the recordings ranges from good to ''meh'', but it never becomes bad. One can easily get over the songs that aren't quite as well recorded since there are others that sound very nice. The distorted feel also gives into the heavy feeling of the record, but at times can seem messy.

In terms of style, this is a mostly instrumental album wrought with heavy, distorted guitars and fast pacing. Only a couple of the songs have lyrics and thats quite alright because the vocals are not top notch, but where they appear they're made good use of and as such don't detract.

The shorter songs on the album are all hard rocking tunes that simply blister and the longer ones take a bit longer to develop the idea. The biggest standout on the record, as could be expected, is the behemoth track Turn Yourself Down which clocks in at a massive 23:51-minutes in length. Chilling violins and the previously mentioned heavy guitars make for quite an atmosphere on this one, making us wonder how it never hit the grooves of one of their studio albums.

All in all a good compilation that fans will enjoy and newcomers will appreciate. Not at all essential, this one is going to get 3 phoenixes out of 5. Recommended for fans of the band, fans of heavy prog and fans of good hard rock instrumentals.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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