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Oddland - Vermilion review




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Reviewer:
7.0

16 users:
7.19
Band: Oddland
Album: Vermilion
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
06. Pathway
07. Resonance
08. Unity


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.


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





Written on 10.03.2022 by 100% objective opinions.


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 68 users
10.03.2022 - 17:01
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I wasn't that won over by this one, felt like the djent chugs would've been cool if they weren't so overutilized.
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10.03.2022 - 18:22
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Story never ends, many modern bands can fix good debuts, but can't cat h b follow up.
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I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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11.03.2022 - 10:34
Rating: 7
musclassia

I actually rather liked it, but I know I'm much more djent-friendly than most people around these parts. They could have been developed more, but on a casual listen, I felt those punchy chugs, the brighter melodic prog parts, the deep rich vocals and the mellow softer sections all came together rather well
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11.03.2022 - 12:21
Risto
Wandering Midget
Unfortunately my first impression is similar to this review. Oddland's earlier djent flirtations were at least done in an interesting way and with a contextually original guitar tone, but this is just generic for the most part. The djent sections also bury Sakari Ojanen's awesome voice into the mix. It's rather frustrating to hear his vocal ability improving while the surrounding music is deteriorating.
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11.03.2022 - 12:23
JoHn DoE

I'm gonna try and listen to this.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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11.03.2022 - 14:42
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by musclassia on 11.03.2022 at 10:34

I actually rather liked it, but I know I'm much more djent-friendly than most people around these parts. They could have been developed more, but on a casual listen, I felt those punchy chugs, the brighter melodic prog parts, the deep rich vocals and the mellow softer sections all came together rather well

I like it as well, 7 is not a bad score, and this is not a bad album, but I can't help being disappointed when comparing this to their wonderful debut album. On first listen I was like "wow this is great", but a few replays later it had quickly gotten old for me. There are many moments of excellence dotted around the album but they're too far between for it to remain interesting to me after a few spins.... but yeah, it's a good album. Good, but not great.

Written by Risto on 11.03.2022 at 12:21

Unfortunately my first impression is similar to this review. Oddland's earlier djent flirtations were at least done in an interesting way and with a contextually original guitar tone, but this is just generic for the most part. The djent sections also bury Sakari Ojanen's awesome voice into the mix. It's rather frustrating to hear his vocal ability improving while the surrounding music is deteriorating.

His vocals were a bit shaky on their earlier stuff, but he's developed a great presence since then. Good point about the production, I forgot to mention it in the review, but it's somewhat overproduced and the guitars are too loud, for sure.
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13.03.2022 - 19:50
JoHn DoE

Just finished listening to this, it's pretty good, needs more listens to sink in, but I enjoyed it.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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02.04.2022 - 17:54
Rating: 10
Donnie Darko

I enjoyed Vermillion a lot !!!! 7/10 hell no !! ! Love the groovy/djenty/prog vibe of this album and the production is outstanding . Yeahhh it need more listens to appreciate it much more not just one !!
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29.07.2022 - 15:23
Netzach
Planewalker
Written by Donnie Darko on 02.04.2022 at 17:54

I enjoyed Vermillion a lot !!!! 7/10 hell no !! ! Love the groovy/djenty/prog vibe of this album and the production is outstanding . Yeahhh it need more listens to appreciate it much more not just one !!

Didn't see this comment until now, but for the record, I listen to everything I review a lot more than just once. At least three times, and probably around five listens on average. If it doesn't click by then, I'm going to have to take issue with it.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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