Slice the Cake
Odyssey to the West


4.0
excellent

Review

by ramon. USER (54 Reviews)
April 2nd, 2016 | 316 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is what happens in the mountains.

It wasn't exactly a surprise to learn that Brighton's next-best export was rocking such a dubious moniker, relative to the progressive, blackened death metal they play. It seems the sarcasm of the Brits doesn't translate well to band names, but fortunately for Slice the Cake, Odyssey to the West is almost intriguing enough to make you forget their absurd handle. However, "almost" doesn't cut the mustard; this album is a ferociously large slice of cake. While there may be enough music here to fill half a dozen grind albums, the band make great use of a multitude of genres to keep things sounding fresh. Lead by a careening vocal performance, this proggy epic's procedural unfolding is quite extraordinary to behold.

"The Razor's Edge" opens the album with some beautifully subtle, clean guitar and a slightly casual narration; it's a post-modern fairy tale presented as a poem. The rest of Odyssey to the West follows both structurally and lyrically in this stead. While progressive metal acts as the backbone of the album, elements of death, black, folk, and atmospheric metal are all used strategically to keep the adventure pushing forward. There are occasional returns to bare-bones narration which prevent the album from leaving mystical elements behind in the dust. Cohesion is never compromised, however. The mass amount of ideas are tied together incredibly well, and many of these individual components serve purely as transitional pieces; "Unending Waltz" acts as a powerful, post-inspired midway point, before "Ash and Rust Part I" propels the second half of the album into darker, brooding territories. Album closer "The Holy Mountain" not only stands tall as the best track on the record, but is pushed to further heights by the masterfully paced, and incrementally building tracks that precede it.

Odyssey to the West is clearly the product of its time; production is the spitting image of current progressive metal. Guitars carry a certain metallic weight due to the boosted mid-range and utilization of low tuning. However, there is an adequate amount of bite to keep black and death metal segments sounding authentic and aggressive. Many of the songs are driven by melodic riffs and the implementation of layering, allowing a surprising level of track individuality for a 15 part record. The riffs vary from slow-paced chugging to blast-driven shredding and everything in between. The bass work spends most of its time following the rhythm guitar, but occasional licks and a chunky, clear tone allow for it to stand apart as a well-performed instrument that is perfectly audible in the mix. However, percussive instrumentation proves to be a production shortcoming. While the drum programming is written brilliantly, the overall sound comes off as a tad sterile. Due to layering and the fantastic writing job, however, the machinated feel becomes unnoticeable minutes in.

Representing such a broad, adventure narrative in music at least deserves an equally broad selection of influences to keep individual chapters memorable. Slice the Cake have hit the nail on the head with Odyssey to the West as it manages to seamlessly present a multitude of ideas without abandoning its core values. Every piece to the puzzle points to a larger image, and what a spectacle it is. The intricacies of storytelling are shown in full as the record leaps and bounds from style to style, track to track. Progressive death metal doesn't often shed light on the idea of venturing into the unknown. Maybe the likes of Wilderun and Slice the Cake are the advent of a new wave of progressive mysticism. But until these tales of old get their progressive death makeover, I'll live forever in exile.



Recent reviews by this author
Wilderun EpigoneCroy and the Boys Of Course They Do
Sleep Token SundowningWilderun Veil of Imagination
Brian Blade LandmarksOh, Sleeper Bloodied/Unbowed
user ratings (249)
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
PyramidNoise (4.5)
Slice The Cake's The Odyssey is likely the most unique and thought provoking Deathcore album will yo...



Comments:Add a Comment 
ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


EDIT: Important note, this album actually has a prequel part called "Odyssey to the Gallows". I didn't write about it in the review, but it is meant to be listened to before this album, creating a 100+ minute mega-record. It is an immense listen, and is definitely worth checking out before going into this record! One of the most intense narrations these ears have listened to. All of this is available on Bandcamp: https://slicethecake.bandcamp.com/album/odyssey-to-the-gallows

This is personally a 3.9. Hope y'all like the review. Curious to see the average score over time because right now it's about as inflated as post-WW1 Germany. For anyone wondering, it was sitting on a 4.8 with 15 ratings when I reviewed it if that says anything about the hype : enjoyment ratio.

Constructive criticism is, as always, appreciated!

ScuroFantasma
Emeritus
April 2nd 2016


12023 Comments


Sweet review, you seem to be covering a lot of cool recent stuff . Heard good things about this album and you make it sound appealing, will check.

ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


Thanks dude! There has just been a lot of really intriguing music being released in the metal sphere lately. Hopefully you get a kick out of it!

bowlofsoup
April 2nd 2016


1217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I entirely forgot that this was even happening. Last thing I heard was that teaser from last year.

Beardog
April 2nd 2016


5237 Comments


I bought the single of this and it's pretty great, can't wait to listen to this

Archelirion
April 2nd 2016


6594 Comments


Great review dude, pos :] One thing to remember for future reviews is to watch out for your usage of it's/its - all but the first usage of 'it's' should be an 'its' in this review. If you remember that it's is a contraction of 'it is' or 'it has', it's a lot easier to place where to use it (I'm far from innocent in this matter, mind).
Small niggle though, everything else is fantastic. Definitely gonna check this out, one of the best in the genre imo.

MarsKid
Emeritus
April 2nd 2016


21035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That average thoough

Shuyin
April 2nd 2016


14924 Comments


Pos'd hard, I need to check this out

ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


Yeah, I only found out about it's release while scrolling through Bandcamp, bowlofsoup

It's quite an achievement seeing how well this much content stands up, Beardog. A lot of stuff to enjoy here.

Lol thanks for having my back! I hate seeing wrong uses of "it's" (major hypocrite here!) so thanks for pulling me up.

Yah, the average is pretty nuts. When I wrote the review, it was 4.8!

ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


Thanks Shuyin! It's such a good release, hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2016


26597 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Decent review



Unfortunately I couldn't stand this, way weaker than their other releases imo and really couldn't get past the cleans

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
April 2nd 2016


11595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really excited to listen to this, nice review



didn't they use to have a drummer though? when did he leave

ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


Personally thought it was their best yet. Cleans are always a divisive point, but I felt they suited the narrative approach really well. Thanks for reading my review, nonetheless!

And yeah, they have had a drummer in the past but not on this record (at least not in studio). They have a live drummer but I think due to the international membership of the band, having a full time studio drummer hasn't been an easy feat. Not too sure what the whole deal is though tbh or when what happened.

DeadGuy
April 2nd 2016


1198 Comments


downloaded the intro and the album.
first song in, shit sounds like it's gonna rule

Hawks
April 2nd 2016


88580 Comments


What the fuck kind of name is Slice the Cake....?

DeadGuy
April 2nd 2016


1198 Comments


a joke that became serious

ramon.
April 2nd 2016


4186 Comments


if the album title was something like "The Baked Reckoning" or "Odyssey to the Saharan Dessert", I might be able to stand behind it

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
April 3rd 2016


11595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i mean, it's a silly ass name but the music is serious/good

MalConstant
April 3rd 2016


290 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Dark Carnival is such a strange track, but I love it.

Rice303
April 4th 2016


385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Interesting article on the release of this written by a friend of mine

http://iprobablyhateyourband.com/news/slice-the-cake-release-new-album-odyssey-to-the-west/



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy