I have to admit that I didn’t have much expectations about Odium when I grabbed this album at my corner music store. I had heard a few songs online from their previous album At the Bottom (from which I remember the nice Burtonesque artwork) and I knew that Odium is a melodic death metal band from Ontario who just released this new album entitled Burning the Bridges to Nowhere (BTBTN). Although the cover of the present album might not attract much attention, I have to admit that that I’ve been playing it in loops for a couple of weeks now.
Odium is one of the current roasters of Ontario-based Year of the Sun label, who brought us a wide variety of excellent underground bands, such as the album Unspoken Words from Montreal’s technical death metal machine Derelict or the latest The Great White North from Thunder Bay’s mathcore beast Norris. In comparison, Odium might be one of the most accessible YOTS bands.
With the previous At the Bottom, Odium showed us that its strength resides in a powerful rhythm section and solid breakdowns, on top of which it added layers of clean vocals and lead guitar.
The new BTBTN keep that formula, however, once fleshed out, it unveils itself as a step further from the previous album. We know Odium can deliver an excellent musicianship, especially for the chops and grooves; and the band continues to display such qualities on BTBTN. However, since the previous opus, a major – although very subtle – transformation happened. First, they’ve improved considerably the melodic aspect of their music. The vocals were good but for the perfectionists the production made them feel as if they sometimes were on a diet. Now, they’re excellent: the screams are beefy and textured (someone has been listening to Lamb of God…), and the clean vocals are pristine. As for the music, the melodies became one with the arrangements, blending with the overall rather than taking the front row. The keyboard has stepped back a lot, and the lead guitar perfectly balance the choppy grooves.
Second, there has been a clear new sound design. The bass drum is especially juicier, but the guitars also prove to be more organic with the general mix. Chimaira comes to mind immediately.
My personal favorites songs would be “Viral by Nature”, “Insomnia”, “Identity of the Doomed” and the title track, although I can listen to the whole album over and over again.
“This is my chance to distance myself from fiction. Our synthetic life was censored, contrived. No point of reference. This used to mean something. I used to feel something.” Along with the song titles, these first few lines should give you an idea of the lyrics throughout the album: something personal, dark but not depressive nor extreme, that relates to real-life feelings and especially disillusion.
In conclusion, Burning the Bridges to Nowhere is an appropriate title both for the lyrics and the music, since the band seems to have refined its focus and made some steps further. Odium didn’t try to reinvent the wheel; it rather offers us the best of melodic death metal. They probably went a bit “smoother” production-wise, but without compromising their hard edges. For fans of Chimaira, Dagoba, Sybreed, Soilwork, etc.
Ce message est également disponible en : French