Review Summary: Fun, short, and chugging metalcore. Sadly there isn't much else.
Metalcore group, Onward to Olympus, have been dealing out albums each year so far since 2010, bringing out their Junior effort. While it is an okay album and is fun to mosh around to, once you dwell deeper, there isn't that much to praise about. Their previous album, The War Within Us (TWWU), seems to be a more solid effort than this.
Starting out with the guitars played by Andy and Andrew, very much like their last album, TWWU, the riffs aren't anything out of the ordinary and aren't anything earth shattering. They are simply there and are lacking inspiration. They aren't really bad, but they are getting old after two, maybe three albums of the same old same old riffs. It's difficult to pick a real stand out track that the guitars were just "wow", in the sense that what was said above, uninspiring riffs. The rhythm guitar follows the same riffs you would hear on any other metalcore album, lots of chugs. Bass is practically inaudible in this release, which is another letdown in my book, I enjoy being able to hear a nice bass riff that the songs can fall back on and pick up a groove. Lastly for the instrumental, we have Nick on the drums. The drums are a pretty good aspect to this, they are always in your face and aren't slowing down for you at all. Nick plays some nice fills and he has the speed that the band needs. Composition of choruses, breakdowns, etc. are in decent shape.
The vocals were kind of hit and miss for me. Kramer, the screamer, provides a good performance and has a good range or mid and low's, and you very rarely hear him do any high's. One thing I believe he could improve on is to experiment more with his voice. The mids and lows sound rather the same on each song, you're just screaming some different lyrics. Andy, who does the clean vocals was more of a letdown. Whenever his share of the vocals come in, it seems like he takes away from the song, like it ruins the flow and the song just picks up regularly. His range isn't anything special really. Take the opening song, Strange Forest for example. His cleans seem lazy and take away from the vibe of the song. He certainly has talent, but he didn't go the next step up. In the song The Truth In Foundations, both vocalists did an excellent job on their parts, and I think that is the most solid effort of the combining vocalists, (not to mention a surprisingly awesome breakdown). Also the only track that features only clean vocals, Andy somehow pulls off the range and volume you've been waiting for. Why didn't he sound like that through the rest of the tracks? Lyrics aren't too rememberable. Sure they convey a decently important message, as the band is Christian, but both vocalists don't show very much emotion or emphasis on the lyrics. There are some lyrics however that are pretty good like this one: "I need You to take me somewhere that I long to be, because I know that I am letting this whole place get to me, I'm so sick of letting myself fall into this weakness." Some of these lyrics can be easy to relate to.
The number one thing that the band suffers from is repetition. After three albums, they have gotten quite in the habit of making most, if not all of their songs sounding the same. Like I said above in the vocals, "sounds rather the same on each song, you're just screaming some different lyrics." That can be brought upon the instrumentals as well. The band needs to put more diversity into the tracks and make them stand out. Also I couldn't get over the fact that there are two sort of pointless tracks in the album that are under 18 seconds each, and do nothing but tie in the songs. I think they could have done a better job than that. I was really hoping that there would be more to this album after hearing their previous releases. I may have criticized them to much on their mistakes, but I believe that the album isn't anything new or groundbreaking, except a good short lived listen.
Lineup: Kramer Lowe-Vocals, Andrew Higginbotham-Guitar, Justin Allman-Bass, Nick Helvey-Drums, Andy Simmons-Vocals and Guitar