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March Against the Tides – From a Realm Turned Scorned Award winner

March Against the Tides
From a Realm Turned Scorned
by Rachel Montgomery at 09 July 2019, 12:32 PM

MARCH AGAINST THE TIDES is Mattias Johansson’s debut album, started with a computer and guitars. For an album put together by one person on a personal laptop and over the course of several months, it’s impressive. However, the songs all sound consistent and while there’s some variety in the songs, I would have loved to see more. Nevertheless, Johansson can compose a song well and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with after this.

The album opens with a beautiful, melodic beginning that gives way to some great, thrashing instrumentals. My main problem is the vocal style; I don’t think Johansson has settled on a style he wants to sing in, sitting in between operatic and gravelly Jazz styles. Plus, in later tracks, the melodic range really isn’t where it should be. In the future, it would be wise to bring in outside singers, create instrumental pieces or work on his vocals and find a style that fits him and his music. The second track, “Use Generations Like Yours”, sets the tone for the rest of the album: hard, thrashing songs with little variety between them. By themselves, the instrumentals are amazing. I love his sweeps and his fast riffs. Sometimes, it can sound too much like a videogame for my taste, but since it’s put together without a big studio behind it, I’m letting that pass.

Care Until Next Time” opens with a beautiful intro that shows Johansson can do atmosphere, rhythm and melody wonderfully. I would love to see more of that in his future works, plus the solid guitar work in the following track, “Know I Know Everything”. My favorite song by far on the album is “Again Tomorrow”, Johansson’s vocals are at his best here: low, controlled and clear compared to the rest of the album. The music is more weighted, and while it builds into a guitar solo that sounds like the rest of the album (it’s still a solid solo), the composition here is excellent.

I would also love to see the virtual band developed into characters with their own backstories, like DEATHLOK or a Heavy Metal version of GORILLAZ. I see a lot of potential to expand with creating characters and a backstory around the band, especially developing them on the internet. For future albums, I’m excited to see more variety and more melodic elements; I really enjoyed those, and I believe Johansson is a talented, gifted musician who shows a lot of promise for his next work. While this album wasn’t perfect, for what it was it was pretty solid. The one big criticism I have is the vocals, but that can be remedied in later work with some collaboration or some vocal training.

Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10

4 Star Rating

1. See How It Tries
2. Use Generations Like Yours
3. Care Until Next Time
4. Know I Know Everything
5. Maybe I’ll Never Go Easy
6. Your Ever Loved Lost Soul
7. Again Tomorrow
8. See Our Moment End
9. Some Can Hold Life on No Ground
Mattias Johansson – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums & Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 26 November 2022

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