Century Media Records (2012)
Winners of a record deal through a Finnish Suomi metal star contest, the quartet Oddland could be viewed with an intense disdain - because how often do we hear the best of up and coming metal through contests or battle of the bands results? In this case though, I believe progressive metal audiences will be happy to champion the Oddland brand of music. Years of refining their songs and approach from their early love of grunge into this dark, aggressive progressive metal style pay dividends on their debut album “The Treachery Of Senses” - a 10 song, 50 minute exploration into latter day Fates Warning meets Symphony X, Tool and a touch of Faith No More.
Drummer Ville Viitanen subtly shifts from djent meets tribal groove parts in opener “Above And Beyond” and then comfortably lays down great cymbal crashes against double bass in the twisted, atmospheric “Sewers”. Guitarists Sakari Ojanen and Jussi Poikonen most often layer their clean parts against distortion in a way that can magically transform your ears - be it the triplet crunch march throughout “In The Eyes Of The Mourning” or the slow building arpeggio work during “Lines Of Silver Blood”. Almost every track weaves in this jazzy, free form bass play from Joni Palmroth, providing your brain with a calming lull before the next segment blisters you with multi-dimensional instrumental intricacy.
Sakari also amiably handles the vocal melodies, and unlike most that choose to soar in the high heavens range he prefers to be mysterious and coy with his delivery, much like Maynard from Tool or Mike Patton of Faith No More. The 8:10 epic closer “Ire” showcases his confident mid-range and emotional engagement- even through the bass/guitar syncopation maneuvers and ending saxophone solo. This isn’t for the simple minded, its uniqueness makes Oddland one of the best new progressive metal bands to come out in at least a decade.
“The Treachery Of Senses” illustrates that coming at the listener through multiple angles pays off handsomely in terms of increased interaction with the material - and ultimately that’s what great studio recordings should do to move people.
Rating: 5.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe