Onward To Olympas - Indicator (2012)

Onward To Olympas is one of those scarce metalcore bands that I still keep up with and can listen to without cringing. Maybe it has something to do with hometown pride, or maybe it's the fact that they always manage to put out a solid release. Either way, I was excited at the news that they had a new release on the way. Their latest effort, titled Indicator, is being released under Facedown Records on October 9th and doesn't disappoint.

Here on Indicator, the first thing that I notice in comparison to their previous works is that the production has improved tenfold. Everything sounds much more crisp and the grainy, rough sound has been ditched. The guitars come in clear with roaring leads and the drumming is constantly pounding at my ears while the vocals no longer sound as if they are being recorded in the middle of a hurricane. Some may look at this as a negative thing, but to me it's a great thing to hear.

The guitars riffs on Indicator haven't improved too much since their previous release The War Within Us. Most of the riffs are standard and exactly what I'd expect to hear. It isn't terrible but you won't find anything groundbreaking here. However, the solo on the final track "Holding The Aspects" did catch me off guard. I can say the same thing about the drumming here as well. It's decent, and in some parts amazing, but it's what I was expecting from Onward To Olympas.

The vocals, both the singing and the screaming, are both done very well. The second track, "Strange Forest", had me slightly apprehensive because both styles of vocals here were weak but following that track they vastly improved. The track entitled "Wolf's Jaw" gives you an idea of what both vocalists can do. The screams on this track are both angry and captivating and gave me chills when the vocalist shouts "What kind of concept are you using to take over my mind?" The clean singing sticks to one range on Indicator, but always throws down a catchy chorus on every song to keep things fresh.

"Wolf's Jaw" is a song that Onward To Olympas released as a single and is one of the strongest tracks on the album. The chugging intro is just a build up into some "in your face" vocals and a chorus that you will remember forever. This song features lots of melody accompanied by chugging, like a mixture of sweet and sour. At the end of this song you just have to ask yourself why this band can't write every song like this.

"Royal State" is very different from all the rest of the album. This song has a much slower tempo then all of its predecessors and the vocals are much more accented. This change in speed causes this track to stand out among the rest and makes the song that much better. The vocals towards the end get much heavier than anything that has come before on the album.

The final track, "Holding The Aspects", has a few surprises on it. The guitar leads come out of hiding here to give this song much more depth and the vocals in the beginning are the best on the album. All of this just gets you pumped for the guest vocals from Mike Perez of No Bragging Rights. The last half of the song has a solo that will get you grooving to it and makes for a fantastic outro.

A few flaws really bring Indicator down in places it could be much better. All of the songs follow the exact same song structure that is so common in this genre. After two albums, it seems as if the habit to make all of their songs sound the same has grown on them. Changing up the vocals and riffs don't do much to cover this problem up. Another thing that bothered me is that there are two pointless tracks, one being a 14 second intro and the other a 16 second interlude. Onward To Olympas could have integrated these few seconds into one of the other songs but seem to throw it in for no reason at all.

These flaws aside, Onward To Olympas has released yet another album that makes me proud to say that they are from my city. If you have been a fan of their previous works or are a fan of the genre, I suggest that you give Indicator a listen. It will certainly get more than a few from me.

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By Austin Richburg ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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