There are some bands out there who are simply of the metalcore style but feel the need to lie to themselves and potential listeners by labeling themselves as prog metal for whatever reason. But what if there was a band that actually combined prog metal and metalcore into one, cohesive album? I would personally figure it’d be something interesting, and luckily I don’t have to spectate much about it for Oni’s debut album “Ironshore” fits such a description perfectly.
Simply put, if you’re not a fan of clean vocals or at least the combination of growls and cleans you’re not going to enjoy “Ironshore”. All nine tracks demonstrate both vocal styles in a very desirable format to which I feel many people can instantly get behind, yet every now and then the clean set would come in at weird moments that mess up the ebb and flow of the current song. They also didn’t share anywhere near a perfect partnership with the growls but neither was it anywhere near awfully executed. And on a first spin of “Ironshore”, the whole experience of what Oni laid down for us sounds fairly clunky with many parts seemingly not being in agreement with one another, but upon further listens you can truly see how everything flows together with the previously erratic notes and strums of the guitars, rhythms strewed together by the bass, somewhat alien beats done by the drums, semi-conflicting vocals, and even the odd addition of a xylo-synth make so much more sense. And ultimately, giving “Ironshore” even one extra listen through aloud to real intrigue and promise that Oni contains pushes through the music, truly cracking at the mind of the listener.
While “Ironshore” is by no means a phenomenal album that bends any sort of genre identification and transcends boundaries or any of that madness, it’s hard to deny the heavy slab of metal that we’re given is nothing to scoff at, and shows as much promise as a debut record could offer up. Oni, while not being any sort of priority list personally, have earned my attention and gained my respect by daring to do what some bands shiver to think of, and go head first with “Ironshore” with the hope that they’re a steamroller of a band that can not be stopped.
“Ironshore” releases on November 25th!
PRE-ORDER “Ironshore” via iTunes here.
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