Review: Onward To Olympas- Indicator

Tracklist
1.Indicate/Destroy
2.Strange Forest
3.Wolf’s Jaw
4.Circles & Illusions
5.Never Hold Back
6.Breakthrough
7.Division
8.Ceasing Time
9.The Truth in Foundations
10.Paralysis
11.Royal State
12.Holding the Aspects

I’ve always wondered how Onward to Olympas have managed to fly under the radar in the metalcore scene. Especially since their two Facedown Records releases, 2010’s This World is Not My Home and 2011’s The War Within Us were sterling examples of a band who did metalcore right. So here we are in 2012 with the band releasing their third album in three years, Indicator. Does it live up to the example set forth by it’s predecessor’s, or does it fall short  in comparison? The answer in my opinion is a little bit of both. There is plenty to like about Indicator, but there are also glaring weaknesses that must be addressed if Onward to Olympas want to still be regarded as one of the genre’s best.

One of the mistakes I think plagues Indicator, is the band’s attempt to be heavier. At times it feels like it’s brutality for brutalities sake, with no rhyme or reason to the heaviness. This is very unlike The War Within Us, which was much heavier than it’s predecessor, yet felt like a natural progression in the band’s growth and sound. This also took place while retaining the band’s amazing melodic tendencies, which in my opinion always set them apart from the majority of similar acts.  Another attribute of Indicator that felt could have been better are the clean vocals. Although they are done well, the melodies that are present fall a little flat, and pale in comparison to the band’s previous work, especially what is found on This World is Not My Home.

Although I feel a few things on Indicator could have been done better, the album is still a good album. It just doesn’t have that wow factor that set’s it apart from the pack, as I feel their two previous album’s possessed. Having that been said, Onward to Olympas are still one of the better metalcore bands in the scene today.  They do a great job of avoiding a lot of the trappings of the genre. They do a great job of using breakdowns sparingly, and when they do occur they are not placed in awkward spots in the composition. I also like how the band avoids the use of bass drops and djent styled guitar playing. Two things so simple, that help keep Indicator fresh when compared to the scene at large.

Some of my favorite songs on the album are “Wolf’s Jaw” which does a good job of juxtaposing speed and heaviness against the melodic clean vocals and chanted gang vocals. “Circles & Illusions” which uses a similar approach, yet has even better clean vocals and some great guitar riffs. My favorite song on Indicator would have to be “Division” which features the album’s one and only guitar solo to accompany constant tempo changes and some of the album’s best clean vocals. I do however feel that the first half of the album seems to be a little more consistent and the stronger part of the album.

Rating: 7/10. With Indicator, Onward to Olympas give us another album that adds to their strong discography, however I will add a caveat. We have yet to see the best from this band, and this album is in my opinion the weakest of their releases. I do however see this album becoming the band’s most popular among both some fans and the metalcore scene at large.

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