- Published on Monday, 13 August 2012 10:26
- Written by George Washburn
- Hits: 393
Odium – Burning the Bridges to Nowhere
Odium is a metal band from Walkerton, Ontario and “Burning the Bridges to Nowhere” is their second album. I am not exactly sure how to classify these guys; I suppose they could be melodic death metal, though at times it almost sounds a little too accessible to be called death metal. Their bio lists Killswitch Engage, Soilwork, In Flames, Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch as similar artists. I can agree with the Killswitch reference as they do a really good job of mixing the harsh vocals with clean and catchy vocals. Some of the melody and phrasing does remind me of In Flames at times. I get a little Five Finger in there at times too, so I would say the bio sheet has a pretty fair assessment of Odium. I often find myself scratching my head over some of the connections bands/labels try to make in their bio sheet, but this one seems pretty spot-on.
I actually came across this album on my own and looked up some tracks on YouTube, and was considering picking up the album, when lo and behold, the clouds parted and the angel of metal (in the corporeal form of Jon Asher) descended and bestowed upon me my very own copy of “Burning Bridges to Nowhere.” You have to love it when that happens. Thanks Jon! The point here, though, is that I was ready to pull the trigger on forking over my hard-earned cash to pick up this album. What better recommendation can you ask for than that? Go check out Odium!
Here is the title track from the album.
Vintersorg – Orkan
Vintersorg is a Swedish vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who most people probably know as a member of Borknagar. Prior to joining Borknagar he had a pretty healthy solo career going. This is sort of like the black metal version of Sammy Hagar joining Van Halen; he was already doing well with his own thing, but he joined an established band anyway.
The first few albums were not in English (I assume they were in Swedish.) In 2000, starting with “Cosmic Genesis” and ending with “The Focusing Blur” in 2004, Vintersorg released three albums that were mostly in English. This is when I came onboard. I fell pretty hard for Vintersorg’s brand of melodic black metal, which mixed in harsh vocals with a whole lot of good, clean vocals. I was very excited by these three albums.
Perhaps Borknagar was enough of a commercially viable product for him, because starting with 2007’s “Solens Rötter”, English went back out the window again. I was pretty bummed out when he made this change, and have not really listened to any of the albums since then. “Orkan” is the first I have given more than passing attention.
I am not surprised to find the songs on here are good. I have a great respect for Vintersorg and his abilities, but after getting a taste of his music in English, it is very hard for me to go back to not understanding the song titles and lyrics. My finicky music tastes aside, this is yet another great album from a master of Swedish metal. Check out the album’s title track below.
Evershine – Renewal
Evershine are from Rome, Italy and “Renewal” is their first album. These guys play a mix of power metal and A.O.R. (Album Oriented Rock, for the uninitiated.) I tend to pass on A.O.R. music because most of the time it sounds to me like they want to be Journey. Evershine, however, put a metal shine on that A.O.R. which makes it a little more palatable for my tastes. The label’s bio blurb lists Rhapsody and Manowar as early influences for the band, so combine that with Journey and you have Evershine.
Catchy hooks and melodies are the order of the day on “Renewal”, followed closely by a side of shredding guitars. The songs on “Renewal” are a bit more commercial sounding than I will generally listen to on my own, but it is hard not to respect what they are doing, because they do it so well. Evershine is like eating too much candy and then bouncing excitedly around the room hyped on a major sugar buzz. Eventually I will crash and collapse into a deep sleep, but I am enjoying the moment while it lasts.
Here is the track called “Evershine.”
Marasmus – Mountains of Dead
Marasmus is a death metal band from Kansas City, Missouri and “Mountains of Dead” is their first album.
“Mountains of Dead” sounds pretty good for a debut album from a fairly extreme death metal band. The musicianship is certainly there, and the production is pretty good too. The vocals are very harsh, but they are also fairly easy to make out. Judging from a purely technical standpoint (man I am glad the Olympics are over) I give this two thumbs up.
For creativity and originality…I have to go with lower scores. There is nothing new under the metal sun anymore, but you still have to find a way to make listeners come back for more. I can enjoy this album on its technical merits while I am listening to it, but there is not much about it that sticks in my mind and makes me want to come back for a repeat listen. Make me want to hear more.
Here is the track “Modes of Vitriol.”
Kevlar Bikini – Explodisiac
Kevlar Bikini are a Croatian punk ‘n roll band and I believe “Explodisiac” is their first album. Not exactly metal, but as I listened to the first track, “Devil’s Jukebox” I kind of got sucked into the album, so I kept listening.
The songs have a raw punk rock vibe that I find lacking in most punk music I hear these days. This combined with a hard rock style, which brings more musicianship than punk generally offers, and these guys have a pretty listenable album here. Actually, you know what this kind of reminds me of? Turbonegro. Yeah, just like Turbonegro this is not exactly metal, but it is exactly cool.
I am glad I decided to listen past the first track. “Explodisiac” was certainly worth the time to give it a listen. It is slightly different from what I normally listen to, but in that way it is a nice palate cleanser and also a refreshing change of pace.
Check these guys out. Here is the video for the track “Suped Up Machine.”