Oddland
The Treachery of Senses


4.0
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
August 15th, 2012 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Oddland enter the realms of progressive metal with monolithic grooves, rhythmic complexity and soothing melodies.

Musical talent competitions in Scandinavia don't seem to have a lot in common with similar events in the rest of the world. In the land where metal music is respected and commercially viable these contests happen to have an actual effect on the development of underground metal scene. Finnish progressive metal act Oddland won the so-called Suomi Metal Star competition and thus were rewarded with a record deal with Century Media. The result is their debut full-length The Treachery Of Senses, and it’s a testament to the remarkable abilities of the foursome that the record clearly stands out among their peers being an amalgamation of progressive technicality, supreme song craft and sinister atmospherics. Oddland combine all these elements so daftly and precisely that they can easily compete with the first league of progressive metal artists.

The most immediately distinctive element of Oddland's sound is a permeating sense of windmill-inducing groove that can be easily compared to the likes of Meshuggah and Textures. However, this reliance on rhythm is quite impressively merged with ethereal, much more melody-oriented soundscapes that have their origin in art rock. The quartet perfect this approach on such tracks as “Flooding Light” and “Aisle of Array” where massive technical metal passages co-exist with laid-back, yet equally elaborate moments of serenity. That certainly wouldn't quite work out without singer/guitarist Sakari Ojanen whose strong, baritone voice imbues the music with soothing melodies. His exclusively clean delivery might be a limitation of sorts, yet it's undeniable how powerfully melodic as well as hook-laden his vocals are most of the time.

As accessible as it may be, The Treachery Of Senses is for most an ambitious progressive metal album that constantly revolves around various style and tempo changes. The album's best song “Past the Gates” takes a dreamlike jazz fusion vibe and merges it with some crazed, dissonant blasts in pre-chorus that can only resemble Tool. Although there are many elements on the record that can come off as a bit too direct Tool references, Oddland manages to retain their own identity with songs that flow smoothly and are expertly composed. Another minor drawback lies in the fact that most tracks follow a typical verse-chorus structure which surprisingly in case of Oddland still allows plenty of complex transitions. Dark, brooding atmosphere propels “Still the Spirit Stays,” and that's why the playful interplay in its ultra-technical bridge comes as totally unexpected. Elsewhere, “Sewers” proves that even more can be achieved without the structural limitations when a series of polirhythmic stabs delivered with admirable precision gives way to a much mellower segment built upon plaintive female vocals.

Aside from pristine musicianship and fine song craft, The Treachery Of Senses also benefits from Dan Swano's production which strikes a perfect balance between clarity and weight. This provides the disc with its monumental scope, yet the main reason of the record's undeniable triumph is the quartet's constantly alluring instrumental presentation. With their refreshing multi-faceted variety of progressive metal, Oddland are prone to achieve a great deal in their forthcoming career. This record definitely serves as a bloody promising beginning.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another review in the series "the best records of the year"



Flooding Light:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nywm_fQIYc



Aisle of Array:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca4TOr0ACPM



Past the Gates:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYFzKLX0DqQ

Digging: Luna Sol - Blood Moon

auberginedreams
August 15th 2012


6081 Comments


"flooding light" is essentially a 5 minute breakdown.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't notice. The track is legit imo. I suggest not judging this after only one spin.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2012


3619 Comments


These guys are really technical and their music flows greatly. Even though it's not my thing, this sounds cool. Great review man. I wish I lived anywhere in Scandinavia (Sweden maybe most), those countries are so cool.

Digging: Blur - The Magic Whip

auberginedreams
August 15th 2012


6081 Comments


i'm like half swedish so metal runs through my veins lol. i've never actually been there though.

Shiduba
August 15th 2012


424 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review here! I love this album so much, in my honest opinion the album I've enjoyed the most all year. Might just be my favorite prog metal record of all time, but then again it gets the national fanboy bonus because it's from Finland, heh. They actually write amazing songs and not just noodle around like the most.

Acanthus
August 15th 2012


9638 Comments


Giving the linked tracks a go, great review sir.

Digging: Mechina - Acheron

D41V30N
August 16th 2012


949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review as always, greg. This album desperately needed a review.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. Much appreciated. This needs more recognition on Sputnik. It's the best progressive metal record I've heard this year (and I've heard plenty of them)

ZedO
August 16th 2012


1096 Comments


" It's the best progressive metal record I've heard this year "

must check this...

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've heard it aside from the longest track. I believe it's called Note and lasts 16 minutes. As expected, it absolutely slays!

ZedO
August 16th 2012


1096 Comments


not yet captain...

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah. This version is most certainly without this epic "Note" track. The album's way heavier in places than their older stuff and still as varied as Mammoth was.



As regards Oddland, they may take some time to get used to for some people. At first, the vocals didn't work for me, but then I learned to appreciate them. Still, a bit more diversity wouldn't hurt as I put it in the review. Other than that, even if you're not a fan of vocals, the instrumentation is just overwhelming.

Jethro42
August 16th 2012


12947 Comments


Great review, mate. This music sounds right up my alley.

Acanthus
August 16th 2012


9638 Comments


I'm not finding anything on here to be overwhelmingly great sadly, it's just good/solid.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree. Many transitions on this are utterly brilliant (mind blown!). If you can play like that... good luck. I for one can't.

Acanthus
August 16th 2012


9638 Comments


I can't play at all :/ but listening to this really just turns into one long track with clean vocals for me. Need to give it a few more (have listened 3x so far) but I'm not being pulled in by the overall package, just the instrumentation.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

At the beginning I have difficulty adjusting to this exclusively clean vocals too. I still don't really think they're the strongest aspect of the disc, but I somehow got used to them.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2012


7514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Jethro42:

Yeah. I knew you'd like it dude.



Jethro42
August 16th 2012


12947 Comments


Needs to get featured m/



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