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Ocellus: Departure

When I read that Ocellus was from Wisconsin, I jumped into the music to see exactly what kind of sound they would have. Having lived in WI for 13 years in the last 2 decades, I can't say there is a giant metal scene. The recently released recording of Departure is something that belongs on the shelf of any Killswitch Engage, Born of Osiris or Veil of Maya fan. The production is in your face, the guitars are thick and the vocals are delivered in a variety of styles. There are plenty of bands that do the screamed verses and the melodically-sung choruses - often times a characteristic of the "metalcore" genre.

"Bittersweet Misery" starts off without any hesitation. The drum sound is immediately a plus; plenty high in the mix without being distracting. I personally love the double-bass action. There is some serious syncopation between the guitar rhythm and the double bass drums.

"Sleepless" seems to move along predictably with the aforementioned song construction until the 2nd half of the tune changes up the tempo and a little clean guitar enters before giving way to a recap of the chorus with a classy double lead to take us to the end.

"Endeavors" starts calm enough with a few bars of clean electric until the dam breaks and some thick mid-tempo metal spreads across the ears. The guitar solos for a few licks until a harmonic section enters which really shows their Killswitch and In Flames influence. The tempo changes and the vocal styling makes this an outstanding track.

Yes, there are a few breakdowns, but not so much as to be called mindless - some bands just throw the generic breakdown into every tune.

"My Protector" starts with a slow, brutal bounce and has a very cool guitar harmony section under the chorus.

"The Great Escape" has more great guitar work with harmonies and thick rhythm sections. The bass comes through on this track, as it does in a few other tracks, and there are some cool licks coming from the low end.

This is a very solid effort. When the guitars harmonize very good things are happening. Pieces of melodic death metal and djent and metalcore indicate that Departure is a strong step in the right direction The hooks need to be multiplied, however, whether instrumentally or during choruses for this to be in a "repeated listen" category.


Track Listing
1. Bittersweet Misery
2. A Life Once Lost
3. Sleepless
4. Epiphany
5. Endeavors
6. Death of a Tyrant
7. Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
8. My Protector
9. Undying Allegiance
10. The Great Escape

Added: July 10th 2013
Reviewer: Ryan Good
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 812
Language: english

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