Of One Blood don’t beat about the bush and that’s a refreshing thing indeed from these guys. Take a trip to their facebook page and they state pure and simply that they are “METAL…No tags, just METAL”. It makes a grand change from bands hailing themselves as the next big thing or having soundbytes from some friend of a friend’s band higher up the ladder as some kind of stamp of authority of greatness.
These boys have come about on the local scene in Glasgow after the split of a previous band and produce modern metal that has elements of metalcore, melodic death, progressive notes and some good old fashioned classic metal soloing. I saw them a few weeks past in Glasgow as they took part in an all day punk and metal festival and having seen what they could do live, felt the need to check out their self-funded, self-produced debut album.
After an atmospherically aggressive intro that carries through into first full track Legion, they shift gear into a pounding, heavy and bludgeoning piece of riffing all fronted by some vitriolic snarling from vocalist Ali. When he does break into melodic vocals though, of all people he reminds me of Brian Molko from Placebo. It’s a strong start to an unsigned album and a promise of more to come.
From Inside rips its way through a more thrash driven attack before opening up into a more classic metal themed chorus. It’s also striking me that already, vocals aside, the feel of the album is akin to Beholder’s recent Order of Chaos album. This album is more like a controlled aggressive attack that focuses on power and atmosphere than galloping speed. Unleashed ups the speed further and makes me think that this is what Placebo would sound like if they decided to turn their hands to much heavier stuff. There’s machine gun precision riffing and kick drum work in this one but I’m not entirely convinced that the solos work for the kind of song.
Masks however is evily-melodic, with dischordant melodies giving way to a massive, stomping riffage that quite simply owns before it drives on dragging you with it.
It’s plain to see that Of One Blood have a lot of potential here. Their song structure and definition is all there, the musicianship is excellent and they have a vocalist who shows a versatility and control between aggressive attack and melody. Production on this album for the most part is great for an unsigned band producing their debut. The mix at times does feel a bit off, guitars feel like they need to be a bit more front and centre while the solos need a little something to lift them above the mix. All in all though the album sounds great for a self-produced debut, especially cranked up!
What is also great to see with Of One Blood and this album is how as the album progresses you feel there’s a confidence building track by track. They have a heaviness to them that just seems to build and build with each track. Fallen Reign and All Things Aside feel like being crushed by a ten ton weight. They just make you want to stomp. All Things Aside is, in its own right, indeed a monster track and probably the best showcase of the band’s talents on this album. It has a little bit of everything both musically and vocally and the kind of track you would hear regularly on Kerrang, Scuzz et al.
The album closes out on a high too with Mindset being almost progressive with a beautiful and mellow break mid-track before letting some twin guitar melodies take centre stage amongst the brutality. Final track Break in Reality shows great composure and control with some superb off-kilter riffing mixed with Slayer-esque attacks.
Incredibly promising start from these guys and a band I will definitely be keeping my eye out for locally and for their next release. They’ve produced a brilliant debut album that gives them a solid foundation to build on and grow.
Out of the Shadows is available now from iTunes or directly from the band via their facebook
1. Out of the Shadows
3. From Inside
6. Fallen Reign
7. All Things Aside
9. Break in Reality
Of One Blood are:
Ali – Vocals
Cally – Guitar
Greig – Guitar
Hoogz – Drums
Kev – Bass