Rating:
8.8
Oddland - The Treachery Of Senses
30 April 2012


01. Above And Beyond
02. Flooding Light
03. In The Eyes Of The Mourning
04. Aisle Of Array
05. Past The Gates
06. Still The Spirit Stays
07. In Endless Endeavour
08. Sewers
09. Lines Of Silver Blood
10. Ire


I was a bit surprised when I learned the Suomi Metal Star contest winners Oddland are a progressive band. Even though the contest organisers, Century Media, have a few notable prog metal bands in their roster, I imagined they would go for something more straightforward. However, as soon as I heard what Oddland have to offer I must say that Century Media have shown some great taste; The Treachery Of Senses is an outstanding debut album and seems to be exactly what they were after.

The palette of soundscapes on this album is something fresh and captivating during its 51 minutes. Vocalist Sakari Ojanen has similar vibes to those of Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain Of Salvation) and he also reminds me of Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis). Although his technical performance is sometimes slightly inconsistent he has a great ability to interpret different moods in their songs. The soaring power is well in place in the big refrains throughout the album, and on the other hand his calmer tones can carry songs all the way like "In Endless Endeavour" shows.

The band's various influences are sometimes quite noticeable but they have managed to craft a sound that's completely their own already on their first full-length. The instruments have an emphasis on rhythm with grooving heavy rock effortlessly meeting the occasional djent reminiscent riff, creating a natural sounding dramatic range such as in "Above And Beyond". Calmer jazz-like sections give ground to playful and intricate melodies where all string instruments contribute. "Past The Gates" is a highlight giving new life to what Faith No More once created while there are more traditional and adventurous progressive pieces towards the end, such as the powerful "Ire". The entity is topped off by a fantastic production with the best Dan Swanö mix I've heard so far.

Even though the progressive nature is always present there's a touch of accessibility in Oddland's music, which might make this one a gateway album for those who are not familiar with the genre. The Treachery Of Senses is tastefully written songs without extensive improvisation in order to make a point. Finnish prog metal has hardly ever sounded this good.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Oddland
Album: The Treachery Of Senses


 


written by Risto | 02.10.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Risto - 03.10.2012 at 12:34  
Written by Guest on 03.10.2012 at 00:05

Probably the only thing I can whine about this is the vocal (which also affects the general) performance during the ending of the Opethy track "In Endless Endeavour".

Funny how virtually everything is "Opethy" these days, even when the point of comparison is not-so-trademark Damnation
R'Vannith - 03.10.2012 at 14:37  
Great review, what struck me most about this was how insanely meticulous it all sounds, the songwriting sounds very technical. Something about it leaves me a bit cold, like it doesn't always pull me in and they seem to have a similar tone for most of the album. Maybe it's the djent in it? The vocals go a long way to remedying that anyway.
And I've never heard an album by Faith No More, should probably change that
Ag Fox - 03.10.2012 at 15:52  
Written by R'Vannith on 03.10.2012 at 14:37

Great review, what struck me most about this was how insanely meticulous it all sounds, the songwriting sounds very technical. Something about it leaves me a bit cold, like it doesn't always pull me in and they seem to have a similar tone for most of the album. Maybe it's the djent in it?
Yes. Good review. I had similar feelings. Especially the technical and cold feeling.

Without a doubt, these guys have something unique in them and their awesome moments are there (some of those riffs are really so good). However, the whole package comes across as rather disjointed and a bit too jagged. As opposed to the Djent sound, I think the culprit is that there's too many start-stop moments that breaks the flow. But I'll keep an eye on their future releases anyway to see if they've refined their song writing.

For now, a very high 7 that gets rounded up to an 8. Especially considering what a great year it is for prog releases (again)
Risto - 03.10.2012 at 17:05  
Written by Ag Fox on 03.10.2012 at 15:52

Without a doubt, these guys have something unique in them and their awesome moments are there (some of those riffs are really so good). However, the whole package comes across as rather disjointed and a bit too jagged. As opposed to the Djent sound, I think the culprit is that there's too many start-stop moments that breaks the flow. But I'll keep an eye on their future releases anyway to see if they've refined their song writing.

I find the pauses are ok as they're followed by either something very powerful or something that's already come in earlier. It's a nice tool to create variety within a song when used right, for example the refrain of "Past The Gates" is slightly differently arranged every time.

Thanks for the kind words, both of you
Milena - 09.10.2012 at 11:48  
Written by Ag Fox on 03.10.2012 at 15:52

For now, a very high 7 that gets rounded up to an 8. Especially considering what a great year it is for prog releases (again)

Same for me too. The guys are lovely but they have yet to learn... which is obviously a good thing, I like progress (no pun intended).
A really nice review

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