Review Summary: Above and beyond most you can call metalcore, Onward to Olympas succeeds in pure talent and passion.
Onward to Olympas is a group that has managed to stand up above most other metal core groups, and piecing all the familiar genre elements together as well as they did was not the only reason for checking out their 2010 debut, This World Is Not My Home
. Delivering music as melodic and hard hitting as the tracks featured in their debut shows pure talent, not the result of trying too hard or attempting to fit in. A little over a year later since proving themselves with their debut, they return twice as hard and twice as melodic with The War Within Us
. Not changing their sound in the slightest bit, we are thrown into an album that’s a little more mature, and it shows through each and every track on the album.
It’s not just about being as heavy as you possible can here, it’s about knowing when to pummel your listener into the ground and when to lighten up and offer up a different experience. Songs don’t change themselves in style, but others tend to lean more towards one stand out feature in each of the tracks. A song can start off by tossing you into a breakdown and keep your head bobbing with some fast verses, but completely turn the tables and introduce the talent that is Andy Simmons. Keeping the rhythm tight with his guitar abilities and expressing the lighter side of the band with his soft singing voice, he’s a fantastic addition and does a lot to the bands sound. Tracks such as ’The War Within Us’ and ’Revealing’ surprise us with catchy and memorable sung choruses that reflect the bands different styles used through throughout the album.
On the other hand we have Kramer Lowe, who has a very recognizable style of screaming that just makes everything seem so much heavier. His growl inspired tone does such a great job of just fitting so well with the bands sound, and while it’s not different it’s good enough to make him stand out as a screaming vocalist. My only real complaint when it comes to him is his lack of pitch, he can go from mids to lows, but anything too high seems to never come about. Maybe those highs won’t sound right with the music, but it would be nice to hear a tad bit more variety from his side of the vocal work. Another huge stand out here is the technicality of some of the guitar work heard here. Guitar solos aren’t placed all over here, but when they do show up they’re sure to impress.
‘Structures’ used it’s brief solo to as a melodic addition while the ending guitar work in ’Seeker’ had me left speechless. Melody is one of the biggest jobs here for the guitarists, as all of the songs specialize in creating that melodic feel while not overtaking the main heavier sound of their music. For example, ’Seeker’ uses a soft melodic riff to create atmosphere in the beginning of the song, but as the track continues the band just keeps nailing you down farther and farther without completely indulging into mediocrity. Breakdowns are a big part of the music here, and while that’s sure to turn a few heads, I will be the first to assure you judging is the wrong thing to do here. While most of the breakdowns feature a familiar set up, they work perfectly and never really feel overdone or misplaced.
You can’t really help but feel a tad bit of familiarity between all of the songs here, but each and every one of those tracks has something new to offer that fans of the genre should enjoy. As for Onward to Olympas, they continue to prove themselves as a worth competitor in the metal core genre, and it’s a breath of fresh air considering how great this album really is. I will be the first to tell you, judging here would be the wrong thing to do, The War Within Us
is a step forward for the group and bound to give the band some awarding credit down the line.