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Burning The Bridges To Nowhere

Year Of The Sun (2012)
Rating: 7/10

Every time I start to believe that the metalcore “fad” is dead (killed by shopping malls worldwide nonetheless), a band rears their ugly head that is good enough to make me believe again. This year, it’s Odium’s Burning The Bridges To Nowhere that reminds me that metalcore still has something to offer fans of great music.

Produced by Greg Dawson (Moneen, The End Choke), the album is a beast that roars anthem after anthem mixing traditional metal guitar solos, Gothenburg tones, and the grunting / singing combination that made us all take notice of the genre a decade or so ago.

What Canada’s Odium are best at here are exploding. Each song comes off as very controlled and then when the intensity reaches the boiling point, the band just tear away and let the vocals and guitars soar in a really melodic way. ‘Viral By Nature’ is a good example of this. During the verses it’s one of the heaviest songs on the record and when the chorus hits it sounds completely inspired like they might be the vocalist’s last words to those he loves.

‘No Way Out’ has a slightly thrashier feel, utilizing a rough vocal and more buzzsaw-like guitars, that provide a nice break from the lot of grunting that abounds here. It’s a little like what Exodus, Hypocrisy and Killswitch Engage might sound like if they got all muddled up. ‘Blue Channel’ reverses the formula here, relying more on the melodic guitars and singing and less on the more aggressive parts. It provides a point to really latch onto early on in the album and I really dig that about it. The vocals have an almost post-hardcore thing going on that brings to mind Boysetsfire’s later records.

On the other side of the coin, the title track opens the album with a by-the-numbers metalcore tune complete with rolling guitars, grunty breakdowns, explosive choruses, and insanely destructive drumming. While it’s unquestionably stereotypical, it’s also extremely good and quickly became one of my favourite tracks.

I’m not going to say that Odium offer something here that we haven’t heard before. That said though, if you are a fan of the genre then you will certainly get your blood excited when you hear this. They have a great spark, like years ago when you first heard bands like Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Bleeding Through, All That Remains, and their many, many ilk.

Odium definitely have a boat load of talent and I think that as time goes on and they experiment a little more, they have the potential to offer something really new. For now, I’ll settle for something really exciting. Thanks to these guys, we can all remember why we took notice of metalcore in the first place!

Mark Fisher

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