Italy's Otivm certainly have a love for Opeth, and you can hear the progressive death metal influences of the Swedish legends all over this EP, titled Sever the Sun. Barely out of their teens, Otivm got together in 2007, and this is their CD debut.
Comprised of only five tracks, Sever the Sun still clocks in at the 32 minute mark, which is a full-length for many bands these days. The music is death metal, but there are plenty of progressive elements here, thanks to some tasty acoustic guitars thrown in every so often, and lots of complex passages with multiple time changes. Vocals are a mix of growls and clean melodic singing, and the band do a great job of weaving them together, like on the powerful "Portrait", and the ferocious opener "A Heap of Broken Images". The completely melodic piece "Silence and Awakening" is a great vehicle for their clean vocals and intricate guitar textures, and technical metal fans will love the epic "The Dividing Veil", which balances the prog and the death metal quite nicely.
Otivm still have a little ways to go before becoming a true force on the scene, especially in the songwriting department. Though they are stellar musicians, the band needs a little work as far as learning to incorporate technical passages, as well as the melodic, progressive sections, into their brutal metal assault. Some of these passages, though very well written and executed, seem thrown in at times. Regardless, there's plenty of talent in this band, and I can see with some seasoning and a great producer there's no telling how far they can go.
1. A Heap of Broken Images
2. Idols of Ashes
4. Silence and Awakening
5. The Dividing Veil