Italy's An Ocean Between Us (not to be confused with the As I Lay Dying album) is another band trying to make a dent in the already swamped international modern metal, specifically melodic metalcore, market. Their self-financed EP Drowning is a promising venture with some likeable attributes which makes them different from many of their current peers. Unfortunately, it will probably not be enough to truly set them apart.
Unlike most modern metal, AOBU is not harsh but rather melodic dismissing much of the current hardcore trends for traditional melodic heavy metal. This alone is enough for me to sit up and take notice. Actually, Reignite The Heart and This Time I'm Holdin On more resemble melodic euro-power metal with some modern nuances than conventional metalcore ( they are from Italy, after all). Also uncharacteristic of most metalcore, AOBU demonstrates a subtle nod to progressive metal with clever compositional twists as on Black Will Turn Gray or Shoreless Love Song. If any song is conventional metalcore it's the last, The Path To Your Demise (excepting the brief guitar solo).
Conversely, An Ocean Between Us also relies on typical modern metal attributes. Most songs are excessively riff based with little or no solo fret work. However, when they do occur as on The Path to Your Demise or the better This Time I'm Holding On, they are quite good. Also, tag team dirty and clean vocals are used throughout with mediocre results. The female lead gives an harmonious effect yet sounds muted. While they appear to be there for accent, the harsh vocals are poorly done sounding more like an afterthought: 'Hey we need some death vocals to be viable. So stick your finger down your throat and puke at this point in the song.' Actually, it sounds like they were added for commercial appeal since that is what the children want and the labels expect.
An Ocean Between Us is an Italian metalcore band with promise simply because they offer melodic arrangements over the typical modern metal hardcore harshness. To have a real impact they should drop the (very poorly done) death vocals, keep the melodic heaviness, and ramp up the progressive side of their compositions. They could be true contenders. Recommended for fans of modern heavy metal.
An Ocean Between Us is an Italian metalcore band with promise simply because they offer melodic arrangements over the typical modern metal hardcore harshness. To have a real impact they should drop the (very poorly done) death vocals, keep the melodic heaviness, and ramp up the progressive side of their compositions. They could be true contenders.
Much can happen in a short period of time, just ask Italy's Nitehawks. Formed this year, 2015, the band has written some tunes, hit the studio, and will be releasing their debut album, Vendetta in a few short weeks this September. Your first thoughts ... [ Read More ]