Oddland - Vermilion review
|Release date:||March 2022|
01. Vermilion Pt. 1 - Arrival
02. Vermilion Pt. 2 - Below
03. Vermilion Pt. 3 - The Walls Of The Mind
04. Vermilion Pt. 4 - Feed The Void
05. Vermilion Pt. 5 - Emancipator
After a great debut and confusing follow-up, I was curious to find out which path Oddland decided to walk down, and sadly, Vermilion leaves me disappointed.
Oddland is a curious band. Their 2012 debut album The Treachery Of Senses was released after winning the Suomi Metal Star 2011 contest at the Finnish Metal Expo, granting them a deal with Century Media. It was an oddly grungy, melodic blend of alternative and progressive metal that I still enjoy listening to now and then. Four years later, and Origin displayed a band veering simultaneously in directions I both did and did not enjoy, with thumbs up being given for their further development of lush synth and guitar textures, but with a slightly worrying focus on monotone, rhythmic chugging.
These guys sure take their sweet time writing music, so now, six years later, they return with their third album, Vermilion. I’ve never been a big fan of djent. I do love some rhythmic guitar acrobatics of the Tool and Katatonia sort, but being assaulted by barely melodic, warbly guitar chugging for up to an hour is not what I’d call entertaining. Maybe I’m just not the right person to review an album like Vermilion, but since I still very much enjoy Oddland’s debut… eh, haters gonna hate.
The album starts out with an amazing, dreamy piano section, setting expectations high right away. The keyboards will turn out to be one of the main selling points of the album, along with the numerous atmospheric sections sprinkled throughout that give some breathing room away from the… chug chug chug of the rhythm guitar. It's not all bad, though. The second part has a badass, fast-paced Oriental lead melody that twists and turns through the rhythms, and a chorus that isn't exactly catchy in the usual sense of the word, but still memorable in a way that fits the ascending mood of the track.
There's just one big problem that creeps up pretty quickly as the album proceeds through the five parts that make up the titular composition of Vermilion: the rhythm guitar barely ever strays from the djenty chug-chug introduced in "Below", and the best parts of the "Vermilion" movements are ultimately the spacious, instrumental interludes where the glorious piano melodies are allowed to shine. There's not enough variation in the riffs or tempo to keep it interesting all the way throughout, even though "Emancipator" uses a very neat major key vocal line that contrasts with the heaviness in an interesting way that avoids being cheesy.
Two more songs follow after a short interlude, and while "Unity" finally ups the tempo a bit and is by far the best song on here, there's not a lot that differs between these two and the preceding five-part suite, which makes me confused as to exactly what Oddland were meaning to accomplish here. I just don't get it. I'm going to listen to the debut again.
||Written on 10.03.2022 by|
Comments: 9 Visited by: 69 users
Hits total: 1323 | This month: 19