I always love it when I find bands, especially death metal, that are able to use their songwriting skills to the fullest to create something original, innovative and interesting. Take Fallujah and Rivers of Nihil for example; the former utilized their musicianship and their songwriting to create a style of death metal that thrives on ambience and builds character on Dreamless, while the latter delved deeper into their emotional side to create one of the greatest Death Metal releases of the decade, Where the Owls Know My Name. Whilst it took them a while to truly find their sound, they built towards their goal and they achieved it, I feel that The Odious Construct’s upcoming EP, Shrine of the Obscene, is their stepping stone to creating intelligent, thoughtful and brutal death metal.
Whilst still being a young band themselves, The Odious Construct perform as if they’ve been together for more than a decade; taking influences from such groups like The Black Dahlia Murder, The Faceless and Inferi, the band has built an interesting style of Technical Death Metal with ‘Shrine of the Obscene’. Rather than just being a simple, straightforward death metal band, the band utilizes their incredible talents with incorporating orchestral elements, adding a necessary layer that doesn’t feel forced, but rather pushes the vigorous intensity to all new heights.
Opening with “Vortex of Self”, we are treated to a short, Born of Osiris styled keys section before guitarists Wesley Yee and Ben Jackson match the melody of the samples and adding an octave harmonization, creating a dreamy ambience. Listeners are then treated to the level of intensity and violence as brought by The Black Dahlia Murder, with outstanding riffs and insanely technical and complicated drum work performed by KC Brand, and although it has that TBDM vibe, they’ve managed to successfully make the sound their own, again by adding keys and samples throughout the track.
After treating us to the intensity of “Descension”, the band maintains their brutality through to “They Came Through the Mirrors”, which is arguably the heaviest track on ‘Shrine of the Obscene’. Through this track, we are presented with what is vocalist Casey Ryle’s most incredible performance on this record, pushing the most violent, obscene and outstanding guttural vocals and high screams, indicating that it’s not only the instrumentalists that have a huge amount of talent. This track is also the most varied, going from intense blast beats and face melting guitar riffs, to spellbinding solos and we’re even treated to a beautiful sample in the end (while I’m uncertain, it does reminisce a harp) that leads perfectly into the next song, “Cyanide Eyes”.
“Cyanide Eyes” smoothly merges from the end of “They Came Through the Mirrors”, and is also an incredibly versatile track. With guitar leads matching the samples and harmonizing with them in a wonderful fashion, riffs performed by Yee and Jackson are definitely the highlight of this track. Their chemistry is definitely that of a professional group, and to be able to record themselves at home (or in the studio) and come out with an EP with such mesmerizing production is very rare and rather outstanding.
Another thing that was really brought to my attention upon blasting this record for the first time, was not the fact that they had bass (yes, I’ve reviewed bands without bass and it hurt my soul), but the fact that Sam Datu’s performance on this record was one of the most incredible parts about it. Rather than following the root note most of the time, you can hear Datu chomping on the same riffs as the guitarists with ease, whilst also adding in his own personal flavour, throwing in some slap bass and even utilizing bass chords.
Combining the utmost technicality, precision and brutality with their upcoming EP ‘Shrine of the Obscene’, The Odious Construct are beginning to develop one of the most unique sounds in modern Death Metal. Although the songs do get muddled up on occasion due to the constant violence and pulverizing instrumentals, I feel that The Odious Construct are on their way to becoming the next big thing in Death Metal; they just have to take the right steps with their songwriting.
Pre-Order your copy of ‘Shrine Of The Obscene’, out October 12th, HERE!