Early last year I reviewed Onward to Olympas’ debut album, This World is Not My Home. I wasn’t very kind and the review was a short trashing of what I dubbed generic, bland metalcore. If I were to redo my review of that album it would read very differently, but it would still not read in favor of Onward to Olympas.
So OTO is back with their sophomore album, The War Within Us, and it’s better. Gone is the fun/happy metalcore that was the band’s debut. The War Within Us is more aggressive, it’s angrier. But what helps this record and makes it better then its debut is also what hurts it.
The album starts strong after the intro with the title track. The War Within Us (the song) is much heavier then anything from This World is Not My Home and at moments has a nice melodic/ambient hardcore sound to it. But then Revealing hits your stereo and its standard metalcore and indistinguishable from any number of songs out there. It seems like for every solid song on The War Within Us (Hidden Eyes, Unsuitable Patterns, Accuser) there’s an equally just as bland track (Seeker, Structures). Onward to Olympas has even included the standard, metalcore ballad.
Just like on the bands debut the guitar work is really solid and I wish the band would taken a more technical route with this record. When there are solos or technical riffs, they’re great (Accuser) but they seem to be few and far between.
The War Within Us is a huge step from This World Is Not My Home and it shows tons of growth. While it’s not going to be my favorite record of the year, it is changing my thoughts on OTO’s music.