Saturday, June 16, 2012

Odium-Burning The Bridges To Nowhere

Year Of The Sun Records

Walkerton, Ontario act Odium were founded in 2006 by drummer Joe Mullen and vocalist Tom Emmans. The pair were soon joined by guitarist Bo Louther, guitarist Andrew Fullerton and bassist Dale Burrows. Later that same year the group released the "Glass Barricade" EP and went on to share the stage with such acts as Alexisonfire, Moneen, Fairwell to Freeway, The Agonist, Beneath the Massacre, Divinity and many more. Fast forward a few years and that brings us to "Burning The Bridges To Nowhere" which, incidentally, is the follow-up to 2009's "At The Bottom". Now, previous to obtaining an actual physical copy of Odium's new album I had been sent a download link in advance. I much prefer to be given the opportunity to listen to a new release with lyrics in front of me whenever possible in order to full appreciate everything a group has to offer. The album's digital tracks had me in waiting in anticipation honestly. Most of the lyrics are easy enough to make out, but with both clear and rough vocals involved that line was sometimes blurred. Is the combination of clean and death metal singing played out yet? A fair enough question and one I'm not quite prepared to argue here (although I would love to hear others thoughts on this) as it neither adds nor subtracts from the impact of Odium. Music-wise it is hard to tell if this has more in common with bands like Soilwork, The Haunted and Scar Symmetry or acts like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying and Bullet For My Valentine. There even seems to be some Protest The Hero progressive moments in "The Bridges To Nowhere". The band truly does mix in elements of melodic death, thrash, progressive metal and metalcore with any particular genre even achieving the true upper hand. What works best for Odium would be the guitar work. Simply put some of the leads are great. What does not work so well is when the metalcore starts to kick in a little too much. Otherwise I have to say I have truly been enjoying this album as it is well-written with a nice production job courtesy of Canadian producer Greg Dawson (The End, Moneen, Choke) . Odium's sophomore release is high on energy and features plenty of "impact is imminent" thrash moments that are easy enough for the listener to latch onto. "Burning The Bridges To Nowhere" is a recommended release.

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