With their blend of tech metal, prog, doom and hardcore, Nottingham quintet Taken By The Tide’s sound has a tendency to be heavy, intense, dark, and even at times, sinister. Their latest EP, ‘Revenge’, is a tornado of blackened metal, showcasing the band’s unbridled aggression and technical prowess.
However, underneath the guttural vocals, drilling basslines, rapid riffs and pummeling drums is a band with a love for horror films. As tracks such as ‘Grave Lessons’ and ‘Moloch’ alongside the interluding ‘Revenge Overture’ show, Taken By The Tide capture the unsettling and piercing tone many terrifying classics.
As guitarist Eric Revill-Dews explains, the band’s interest in horror films would become a key influence during the creation of ‘Revenge’. Eric talked us through five frightening flicks that helped shaped Taken By The Tide‘s latest EP.
Warning: Some readers may find some of the videos below disturbing.
I love the Alien trilogy so much (I say trilogy…we won’t talk about resurrection here), with ‘Aliens’ probably being one of my favourite films of all time. However, it’s the original ‘Alien’ that inspired me the most for this record.
The set production design is purposefully futuristic, but ‘lived in’ or ‘battered and broken’.
It doesn’t have that super shiny sheen that some science fiction films have, and everything is designed to look grim and rough around the edges.
I wanted to take that aesthetic concept and translate it to the sound of this record. Metal these days can sound super slick, note-perfect and hyper-realistic, but I wanted jagged edges and disjointed lines…I wanted the songs to sound “lived in”.
Ok, THIS is my favourite film ever! I wanted to somehow get a Jaws reference or influence in on this record, so Chief Brody makes an appearance on the song, ‘Grave Lessons’. “Smile you sunuva…”
3. The Exorcist
It’s the anxiety from this film that always sticks with me. It’s not the projectile vomiting of pea soup or even the sucking of cocks in hell… it’s the creepy as fuck, anxious atmosphere of something awful happening whilst everyone watches on, struggling to make sense of it/stop it.
I was re-watching this film over one Halloween, and that was at the same time that I was writing the song ‘Moloch’. I don’t know if I consciously used the Exorcist as inspiration, but looking back, it definitely fed into the vibe of the song.
4. The Thing
This was a film that Martin (our original guitarist before Nathe joined) and I would watch together fairly often. At one point in the band’s life, we had samples from the film during our live set. So again, this one inspired atmosphere.
Whereas ‘The Exorcist’ inspired the anxious atmosphere, ‘The Thing’ inspired the vibes of paranoia that hopefully come through on the record.
There’s something to be said for aesthetics inspiring sound here too. ‘The Thing’ is renowned for its in-camera, practical effects. They look rough around the edges, but that adds a certain grimness to the film. I think we took that idea, and translated it into the record by not having too much digital processing or editing, and leaving certain things a little rough.
Whereas most of the other films inspired a vibe or a certain atmosphere, this one has literal musical inspiration…or rather, John Carpenter’s soundtrack does. The track ‘Revenge Overture’ is based on a musical phrase that’s in all of the songs on the record, so it’s supposed to be what ties them all together.
I decided to use piano samples, because, well….how creepy does a piano sound when its used in a certain way? We did this on ‘Hands Of Spite’ (our last record), using low piano hits to accentuate certain parts of the songs… kinda like the incidental music in Halloween.
I wanted to develop that idea further on this record, so not only did I carry that idea on, but decided to come up with a creepy piano overture and present it a similar way to the Halloween main theme.
Bonus film inspiration
‘The Wilhelm Scream’ is like a filmmakers in-joke. It’s a sample of someone screaming that’s been inserted into almost every film you can think of, by virtually every director ever, and it can be a fun little game trying to listen out for it:
I managed to get it in on this record (although somewhat bastardised and distorted)…but I’m not telling you where!