Black Tide come out of the gate with all guns blazing. Their Interscope Records debut, Light from Above, is a loaded salvo of fret-burning, hyper-charged riffs. The Florida quartet churns out fist-pumping, fast-paced metallic anthems with no remorse. Their sound channels the forefathers of heavy metal, but with a dose of 21st century attitude.
Cuts like “Shockwave,” “Warriors of Time” and “Show Me The Way” pack enough explosive energy to ignite any crowd.
Vocalist and guitarist Gabriel started singing and playing guitar at eight-years-old, and he knew that’s what he was meant to do the second he donned an axe. “When I started playing, I was like, ‘This is what I have to do.’ I don’t want to be a fucking lawyer or some shit like that. I told my family I wanted to play heavy metal. My parents have supported my decision the whole time. Anyone else would’ve been like, ‘Shut up! Go to school!'”
Gabriel’s intense immersion into music has paid off. He formed Black Tide with his brother & original drummer Raul N. Garcia in 2003. Drummer Steven Spence would join their ranks in 2006, and after an incendiary performance at that year’s Florida Music Festival, Interscope signed the band. Black Tide recorded their debut, Light from Above, at Groovemaster Studios, with Johnny K (Disturbed, Machine Head, Soil) in 2007. As soon as it was finished, the four lads hit the road on OZZfest 2007’s main stage alongside Ozzy Osbourne, Lamb of God and Static-X. Immediately, they began to build a buzz because of their no-holds barred approach to infectious, arena-ready heavy metal.
Leading up to Light from Above’s March 18, 2008 release, the band toured with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for My Valentine and All that Remains. Garnering instant acclaim, Light From Above sent a “shockwave” of its own through the scene. Rolling Stone named Black Tide one of the “Best Rookies of 2008” and “Metal’s New Teen Titans,” Spin tapped them as one of the “Next Big Things,” while Revolver featured them as a “Band To Watch” and included them on the cover of the August 2008 Mayhem issue, and Kerrang! proclaimed them “Best International Newcomer.” The band followed its release with an appearance on the inaugural Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot and Disturbed as well as playing the main stage of Download 2008.
After Download, Alex and the band amicably parted ways. Black Tide added guitarist Austin Diaz to the fold, and he’s been the perfect fret foil for Gabriel. “Austin is awesome. He learned all of our songs in two days, before the first date of Mayhem. We played the show, and he killed it,” Gabriel says.
In the end, Black Tide are ready for anything. Gabriel’s excited for what the future holds. “The band is so united now. We’ve never been together like this before. Black Tide’s stronger than ever.” That strength will only lead to bigger and better things.