Third Island - Omelas review


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Band: Third Island
Album: Omelas
Release date: April 2018

01. Omelas
02. The City
03. Procession
04. The People
05. Locked Away
06. Visitors
07. The Ones Who Walk Away

Hailing from Limerick, Ireland, Third Island play a post-rock/metal with Omelas being their debut release.

The album is conceptually based upon Ursula K. Le Guin's "The One Who Walks Away From The Omelas", following the joy of discovery, pride in their utopian city, discovery that it's not all it's cracked up to be (DEATH TO FALSE UTOPIAS!) and finally isolation.

The trio's approach is starting off with a "post" base which sits somewhere straddling post-rock and post-metal, but not that SSDD (Same Shit Different Dudes) Post-it note stuff. They don't sound like Explosions In The Sky for half the song before someone stomps on a distortion pedal and everyone beats on their instruments while the vocalist screams at you.

Instead of going from chill to kill like flipping on a light switch, the alteration doesn't feel so abrupt. The difference between cleaner and more harsh parts isn't day or night, they are both different shades of grey.

The lighter, rock sections aren't as quite as passive as the standard act and the vocals are great. At times they almost remind me of late 80's David Gahan from Depeche Mode. No joke. Particularly the line from "Omelas", the lead-in track where he croons "can't you understand" just waiting for a "little girl" to follow-up.

When the band goes Metal Mode, it's not always instant crushing landslide, either. It does have a vaguely Neurosis feel with some of the riffing, but it's just like they bumped the rock up a couple notches and the vocals got a little harsher & throatier. (Refer back to Neurosis comparison.) They have impact but are not ear-shredding, obnoxious to the point of disengaging - which is my standard complaint when doing my standard review for standard SSDD post-it note acts.

Also upon repeated listens (I gave this a lot of spins, one of those albums that when it comes to reviews it doesn't write itself) I noted how much like the transitions from the 'lighter' to 'harder' bits are shifts rather than jarring, abrupt changes, as the album unfolds the 'lighter' bits slowly but increasingly nudge up their intensity. This also enables the heavier bits to be even more sludgy/foreboding and intense later in the album. By the time "Visitors" rolls around, the more quiet sections still have the clean vocals, but the underlying music is almost the same intensity of the harsher bits of the opening tracks.

For a first release I enjoyed it, will spin it again, but I think some of the song construction could be a focus for improvement on subsequent releases. While I like the less abrupt shifts, it separates them from others, I think in some cases the buildup could be improved. I.E. with the opening track, "Omelas", your first exposure to the band, the album starts off almost awkwardly.

Their approach has promise and me looking forward to seeing what they do next.

Be sure to visit the city of Omelas on bandcamp... or check out the video for "Procession" on YouTube.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 10.05.2018 by BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 53 users
11.05.2018 - 05:18
Sounds very interesting.

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