SOULS OF TIDE – BLACK MAGIC (Mighty Music, 2020)

Forget about nostalgia, this is fresh and raw energy in a polished package


Genre: 70’s Rock, Hard Rock

Rating: 9/10

Who said that from Norway comes nothing but death metal? On your knees blasphemers, and hail the new Northern Kings of Maximum Rock‘n’Roll! Souls of Tide with their new, exciting album “Black Magic” managed to succeed where countless others have failed: conjuring up the perfect Classic Hard Rock album for the new millennium. They rode the monstruous storm of all the vintage influences you can think of (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple but also Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, just to mention a few) and forged them into a new shape, resonating with fresh sounds and contemporary flavours. This is not a mere nostalgia operation we’re talking about. There’s nothing stale in “Black Magic”, on the contrary: every cut is a polished pearl of headbanging pleasure ready for today’s rock radios’ airplay. Vegar Larsen and co. open fire with a combo broadside, a couple of “concept-tracks” in which we are introduced to the Fire Girl, a Voodoo sorcerer of ancient memory. Voodoo Ritual is the stunning, incredibly energetic opening track that paves the way for Firegirl and its oriental suggestions, a kind of trademark for Souls of Tide. The use of Phrygian, Egyptian and in general Oriental scales gives their sound an exotic twist, as we can hear also in Evening Star with its fantastic, Maiden-ish bass line (courtesy of Mr Johannesen) and its litterally addictive keyboard work. Another cut to appreciate the powerful Hammond Organ of Kjetil Banken is The Offering, a cadenced, exhalting mid-tempo. It’s about time I throw in my favourites for your listening pleasure, and here they are: you gotta love the guitars work on Morning Star: a precise layer of earthshaking drums laid down by Tommy Kristiansen creates the perfect canva for Langberg and Østby’s licks, elegant and brutal at the same time. The result is mind-blowing. Last, but not least, a praise for Larsen vocals. Through the Fire, the conclusion of Fire Girl’s journey, is another exotic and evocative masterpiece in which Mr Larsen really shines, with his rich and warm voice suggesting influences as distant as Bono and Chris Cornell. I must be sincere, those guys really got me. If you’re looking for a dull imitation of past rock giants, then steer clear of them. You wouldn’t be satisfied. But if you want to know how a contemporary Hard Rock album should sound like, get you hands on Souls of Tide’s Black Magic. Classic Rock for the New Generations.


1) Voodoo Ritual

2) Firegirl

3) Through the Fire

4) Morning Star

5) Black Magic

6) Interlude

7) The Offering

8) Evening Star


Vegar Larsen - Vocals

Anders Langberg - Guitar

Ole Kristian Østby - Lead Guitar

Øyvind Strõnen Johannesen - Bass

Tommy Kristiansen - Drums

Kjetil Banken - Hammond



Article by: Karl Eisenmann