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The Odious – Vesica Piscis Award winner

The Odious
Vesica Piscis
by James Brizuela at 02 July 2019, 6:51 AM

THE ODIOUS, out of Portland, Oregon, return with a monster album in “Vesica Piscis”. This album represents the brilliant dichotomous relationship that can exist between brutal death metal and the melodious tone of progressive metal. There is nothing about this album that I did not absolutely love. Even with the crazy tempo changes and off-time signatures that permeate the entire album, it all works together in beautiful fashion. I found myself completely enthralled in the musicianship that went from the brutality of technical death metal, to almost sounding like the incredible alternative bands that came out in the 90's. Of course, with the progressive metal genre balancing everything out. I am a huge fan of the genre blending that exists in metal today. But when a band does it with this much poise, it is mind blowing.

The album opens with “Scape”. The track has a beautiful piano medley that is played and stops with the sounds of whoever seems to be playing the piano getting up and walking away. I love the feel of the track just from that alone, and then it ends with some sort of TV being played. There is a lot of nondescript chatter in the background that follows. I wasn’t quite sure how to feel until the following track, “Repugnant”, started. With some thunderous deep growling vocals and technical mastery, this track showcases the more brutal side of the band. This is one of the more death metal sounding tracks that is on the album. You only get to hear a small taste of the clean vocals that smooth out the violent nature of this track.

“Arbiter Of Taste” brings with it the more Proggy sounds the band has so masterfully interworked into the album. Every time I hear the clean vocals I was taken back to listening to Lane Staley of ALICE IN CHAINS. That may not be what the band is exactly going for, but the cadence was too spot on for me. Albeit, the Proggy and Death Metal sounds being more prominent making it sound like anything but an alternative track. But that is what so brilliant about this album. One moment you are being punched in the face with the death metal prowess of the band, to being serenaded with some beautiful clean vocals that make the song sound so much different. That is the complete feeling of “Glowjaw”. The track opens with just some clean vocals and then there are the brutal deep gutter growls that come in and add more and more depth.

Even when THE ODIOUS are throwing in all over the place time signatures and tempo changes, even while bringing in some 8-bit sounding quick drumbeat to start the next track, it all works perfectly together. Every single aspect of this album was so methodically put together I found myself just taken back by its genius. The tempo changes, genre blending, and not pausing in between tracks is just done so well. It is almost as you are being treated to a song that never ends but makes so much sense. When you put “Hastor the Shepard Gaunt” and “Vesica Piscis” together, that is exactly what you are getting. Two tracks that completely compliment one another with equal parts death metal and progressive flawlessness. It does not even matter that there is no pause between the tracks, you just keep hearing the genius in the musicianship.

The final track that I want to comment on is “Fix”. This track is the least death metal sounding. It has a way more 90's alternative sound to it. With a beautiful symphony of acoustic guitar, clean vocals, and piano being played, it is a just so rich to me. The lyrical imagery is carried so well in this track. And even when you seem to think you’ll hear only the more mellow side of the band in this, here comes the brutal vocals to remind you how incredible balanced the album is. The brutal vocals are so well placed again. Even when the track suddenly stops out of nowhere throwing off the entire groove, it still works on every single level. A beautiful guitar medley ends the track and the album.

I have not been this impressed by an album from start to finish in a long time. I have also had the album on repeat since I received it. Every single note that is played and sung is so well thought out that I found myself just completely flabbergasted by the end of the album. I count myself as a huge fan of The Odious, and I am sure you will too once you hear “Vesica Piscis”.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Scape
2. Repugnant
3. Arbiter Of Taste
4. Glowjaw
5. Hastor The Shepard Gaunt
6. Vesica Piscis
7. Heavy Rhetoric
8. Mono no Aware
9. Misuse and Malignment
10. Fix
Lineup:
Spencer Linn – Vocals, Guitar
Patrick Jobe – Vocals, Keyboards
Garrett Haag – Drums
Austin Haag – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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