One of the things I have always loved about writing for a website is discovering something new that makes your jaw hit the floor. Whilst it is always fun to try to review a well-known and well-loved band, the truth is that there are so many sites doing exactly that sort of thing that it becomes far more rewarding to review something of which you’d never heard before. It’s the really exciting part of being a reviewer and it’s one of the main reasons I started doing this in the first place. One band that fits the jaw dropping category are Odetosun, a progressive metal outfit from Augsburg, Germany. Formed in 2008, the band were originally known as Oden’s Raven and released an album under that name before renaming themselves in 2012. ‘God’s forgotten orbit’, then, is the band’s first album as Odetosun. Featuring Guitarist Benny Stuchly, vocalist Luke Stuchly and the rhythmic powerhouse Gunther Rehmer, Odetosun play high energy progressive metal with elements of Tool, Gojira, Death and The Ocean all bound up in the band’s own uniquely powerful sound.
Opening with a short, beautiful piece of clean guitar, ‘cracking shell of Calypso’ does not wait long before introducing some truly brutal riffs. Luke has a very expressive growl that conveys a wide range of emotion considering he’s permanently maxed out, but the real star of the show is Benny who provides both guitars and bass for the band. The solos in particularly are beautifully constructed and fluid works that add an ethereal feel to the music whilst the bass has plenty of depth and power, keeping the core of the song taut and dynamic. It’s a hell of a start to al album and it had me hooked from the off, which, when you consider the amount of music that passes through SonicAbuse, is no mean feat. The next track up is the subtle, eerie ‘veil of leviathan’, a track which takes plenty of time building up to some truly coruscating riffs. Coupled with Gunther’s endlessly inventive rhythmic patterns, even the simplest riffs gain new power and when the track finally kicks into high gear with a deathly riff underpinned by Gunther’s furious double-kick work, the adrenalin surge is unmistakable. Meanwhile Luke’s delayed appearance is worth the wait and he delivers his lyrics with considerable spite and gravitas. ‘Eclipse chaser’ wastes no time on a build-up, the band launching headlong into melodic death metal territory that echoes Arch Enemy with its melodic solos and scarred vocals.
Offering up an instrumental at the heart of a progressive album is always a questionable endeavour. If done well it can offer the band a chance to shine whilst giving the album a touch more variation. If done badly it can halt the album mid-flow and reduce the listener’s engagement. Fortunately ‘Journey to Gliese’ with its brutally echoing bass line, hypnotic percussion and stunning guitar work is a graceful and memorable centre-point to the album, driving the listener forward to the heavy groove of ‘the swarming infinity’, an eight minute beast that evolves beautifully, veering from outright brutality to rich, ethereal moments in a heartbeat. The album concludes with the title track, another lengthy beast, which benefits from the band’s textured and detailed approach to song writing. Building over repetitive riffs augmented by echoing synths and Luke’s relentless vocals, it’s a compelling finale to an album that passes in the merest moment thanks to the inventive and intelligent composition of the music.
Odetosun may not, yet, be gracing the covers of metal magazines worldwide, but believe me when I say that they deserve your attention. This is one of the best albums of this ilk I’ve heard in some time. There’s a real fire in the band’s music that elevates it above other, similarly styled bands, and the performances form all three artists are sublime. Luke’s vocals are incredibly intense, Gunther’s drum work equally so and Benny’s guitar work is a revelation. More than capable of delivering pounding riffs and brain-melting grooves, what really captures the attention are the graceful fluid solos and ethereal passages which litter the album demonstrating a rare ability. In an age where the progressive metal tag all too often means ‘a band that sounds a bit like Opeth’, Odetosun are genuinely progressive, forging their own path and sounding all the stronger for it. They may not yet be well known outside of Germany, but with a bit of luck they soon will be. In the meantime follow the link below and discover Odetosun for yourselves – you won’t regret it.