Osyron – Foundations

Osyron – Foundations
SAOL/The Orchard
Release Date: 10/07/2020
Running Time: 28:41
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

After a pretty productive bank holiday weekend, Rick decided to hit me up with something new that he thought I would like, as part of my quest to write more reviews. The first of these is our subject here, Canadian Symphonic Metal band, Osyron. Based in Calgary, Alberta, the group see themselves as ‘bridging the gap between traditional European metal and the music of their homegrown contemporaries’.

Starting out in Ontario, they originally went by the name Morbid Theory, releasing two demos (Chaos Breed in 2006 and Harbinger in 2010). The band saw some changes in line-up, scenery, and identity, and, after moving to Alberta in 2012, Osyron was born.

Their upcoming release, “Foundations”, although only 5 tracks in duration, is just about scraping album length, owing to the progressive nature of their compositions and the story that it takes you through. It is a view on Canadian history, spanning topics from the country’s colonization, to the mistreatment and recognition of indigenous tribes, and the country’s participation in global warfare. This hard hitting and melancholy theme is stark from the off.

Starting with dark symphonic chords and the pounding of drums, Osyron take us through colonisation in the first track ‘The Cross’. It’s pounding beats and droning root chords suggest the regimented power of an oppressor, and the helplessness of the indigenous people; ‘They would learn to live like us, Or they would learn to die by the cross.’

The second track ‘Ignite’, tells the story of Canada’s roll in WWI, explored from a Canadian and UK perspective. Again, lyrically, it’s hard hitting. Musically it explores differentiation in rhythm, emulating the chaotic nature of battle, as well as pulsing beats and chanting war cries that suggest the regimented and indoctrinated nature of war. The use of drums here also cleverly suggests the sounds of a battlefield.

A contrast in pace and instrumentation to the first two tracks, ‘Battle of The Thames’, starts acoustically, with just voice and guitar, at a much slower pace, but in keeping with the melancholy that drifts beautifully throughout this record. It has almost a folk, lilting feel, and would not be out of place performed atop a craggy cliff on a Celtic shoreline. Halfway through, we are treated to a far away guitar solo, which almost sounds like a distant violin, adding more to the feeling of a ‘folk’ route. I may be wrong, but I think I can hear a mandolin in there too at some points. This track gathers layered momentum as it progresses, and reaches a climax with an excellent guitar solo, pulling things back from folk, to symphonic metal.

The penultimate track, ‘The Ones Below’, marks a sudden change in pace, starting with a fully loaded groove riff, the sort you would expect from a well-oiled groove metal band. However, this is intertwined with the ethereal sounds of strings. The reason for the more upbeat nature of this track – it is a celebration of the generations past and how their sacrifice is now being recognised. The raising of a glass to the ones below ‘We drink not in our sorrow… For our sisters and brothers’.

However, you still feel that this isn’t enough… That more can be done… A theme that is explored in the final, and title track, on this record. An epic composition and by far my favourite, it’s musically full, symphonic, and heavy in its minor key. For me, lyrically it is the most tortured track on the album. The chorus lines ‘Wild lies, of white crimes, I, can no longer bear…And hear them cry, throughout the night, Why? Have our wrongs taken their rights?’ are very stark, powerful, and thought provoking. And the change up in rhythm towards the end spark thoughts of final painful realisation and desperation to put right wrongs. Very deep and pretty moving.

Musically, this record is symphonic and proggy in all the right places, and if you like bands such as Nightwish, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Kamelot, and Wintersun, you’re going to like this. But in my opinion, the ace card here is the lyrics, and the way that every member of the band has explored and interpreted the subject matter. They all had a hand in writing the tracks, for the first time in their history, and I think that it has really worked very well. I might not have known Osyron before hearing this record, but I definitely intend to get to know them more now.

TRACKLISTING:
1. The Cross
2. Ignite
3. Battle of The Thames
4. The Ones Below
5. Foundations

LINE-UP:
Krzysztof Stalmach (Guitar)
Cody Anstey (Drums)
Bobby Harley (Guitar)
Reed (Vocals)
Tyler Corbett (Bass)

LINKS:
www.osyron.com
www.facebook.com/osyron/
www.twitter.com/osyron
www.instagram.com/osyronband/
www.youtube.com/user/osyron/videos

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Dakesis – Fractures

Dakesis – Fractures
CapsAArx Records
Release Date: 28/03/2020
Running Time: 56:50
Review by Paul Monkhouse
Rating: 9/10

From the shadow filled realms of the home of hard rock, the Midlands, comes the epic Gothic Symphonic/Progressive Metal of Dakesis and this, their third album, is an outstanding next step on a career that has seen them rapidly rising through the ranks. By far and away their most mature and ambitious release yet, “Fractures” is an epic journey into a world where metal goddesses and gods ride fiery steel chariots and huge black wolves run by their sides.

You are thrust into this realm from the opening notes of the instrumental ‘Eos’, its atmosphere a fanfare and prologue for the widescreen adventure hurtling your way as the band tear into ‘Ends of Time’ (Parts I and II). Full of frantic fretwork, the percussive heft of charging drums and bass and Gemma Lawler’s soaring vocals, this one-two punch screams that this is a band who know where they want to go and absolutely nothing is going to stand in their way. ‘Overthrown’ is full of surging and slashing rhythms as glacial cool meets head on with industrial punch, the vocals switching from sweet to passionate. You can imagine this being played in a woodland clearing as black robes flow and feral eyes shine as razor sharp canines glisten in powerful lupine mouths.

Matt Jones shreds and produces monstrous riffs with every fibre of his soul on the huge ‘Kairos’, Amie Chatterley’s bass and Adam Harris’s drums providing the engine that powers the beast along. There’s more of a feel of the Mystical Far East that threads its way through ‘Surrender Your Fears’, its timeless quality bringing changes in tempo as it builds and builds as percussion thrills and choirs raise the drama to an almost unbearable pitch of widescreen colour and light. Following this, ‘Hold Forever’ continues to up the ante, its Gothic sweep clawing you into a land where the night is reluctant to give up its dark dominance to the gentle rays of the dawn.

The album closes with two absolutely epic tracks that elevate Dakesis above their peers and show themselves to be one of the finest and grand bands of their type in Europe. ‘Legacy in Memory’ starts with the gentle piano of Jacob Underwood as that and the bass accompany Lawler, the singer putting in a showstopping (but not grandstanding) vocal before the full power of an orchestral section threatens to tear the roof off. Again, the production and attention to detail is breath-taking as the band seek to push themselves further and further, making something that will stand the test of time their goal. Clocking in at a lengthy fifteen minutes, the titular ‘Fractures’ is a piece that truly deserves its running time, all guns blazing as it takes you on a musical journey that immerses you in a gargantuan adventure. Choirs sing, modern keys hint at a ‘Bladerunner’ style future, drums and bass are unstoppable, guitars frantically flayed in pitiless fashion and lead vocals overwhelm as they surge and dive. There is a deft understanding of light and shade as the band drop things down in the middle section before cranking things up for the last act as they race for the finish line, breathless and triumphant. If you like your metal full of character, melody and atomic strength power then “Fractures” is the album for you. Truly outstanding.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eos
02. Ends Of Time, Pt. 1
03. Ends Of Time, Pt. 2
04. Overthrown
05. Kairos
06. Surrender Your Fears
07. Hold Forever
08. Legacy In Memory
09. Fractures

LINE-UP:
Gemma Lawler – Vocals
Amie Chatterley – Bass & Vocals
Matt Jones – Guitar
Adam Harris – Drums & Vocals
Jacob Underwood – Live Piano & Keyboards

LINKS:
www.dakesis.com/
www.facebook.com/Dakesis/
www.twitter.com/Dakesis
www.instagram.com/dakesis/
www.spotify.com/artist/6cLnsXprLpBnKlX5XDVCn9
www.youtube.com/c/dakesisofficial

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.