Odetosun - The Dark Dunes of Titan - (8.5/10)
Published on October 19, 2015
Genre:Progressive Death / Progressive Rock
Initially performing as Oden’s Raven, a melodic death metal act with Viking overtones, this German trio changed its name to Odetosun and morphed their sound to a melodically tinged form of constantly flowing progressive death metal. The band’s debut album, Gods Forgotten Orbit, released in 2013 was promising and showed mature, fluid songwriting coupled with impressive instrumental performances.
The band returned in late 2015 with their sophomore album, The Dark Dunes of Titan, which was inspired by Ben Bova’s 1972 novel As on a Darkling Plain. Those not familiar with the novel, it involves humans traveling to one of Saturn’s moons to investigate the cryptic machines left behind by the mysterious “others”. It’s a fitting narrative to go with the band’s momentously flowing sound, with flourishes of melody and growing progressive rock leanings. Odetosun returns with the same lineup of multi-instrumentalist Benny Stuchly, vocalist Luke Stuchly and drummer Gunther Rehmer. The fantastic artwork by Thomas Hoechstaedter, the same artist who did the cover to the debut, also revels in that sense shadowy mysterious and alien landscapes that surrounds the lyrical concepts and inspirational source material.
While The Dark Dunes of Titan certainly has many similarities to its predecessor, Odetosun have proven more consistent and engaging this time around. The same style of constantly shifting, ebb and flow, heavy handed death metal riffing is present, but the band opted to stretch their wings with four long players. This focus on longer tracks allows Benny Stuchly to toy with differentiating tempos, while filling the background with subtle keyboards notes that offer an introspective and reflective air. The flowing style of riffing offers churning melodies and a constantly surging swagger, while the bass surges forth poignant and heavy handed. Rehmer’s drum performance highlights the impressive riff styling, following the motion of the guitar chords and accentuating the tempo changes. It’s a great performance replete with flourishes of jazzy fills and double kick tempos, but it’s restrained, which allows the focus to remain on the smooth songwriting. The music constantly veers between churning riffing and movements of sweeping guitar melodies and airy backgrounds, offering moments of relaxing progressive rock nestled along the surging heavy metal. Luke Stuchley’s vocals once again offer a sound that lies somewhere between a throaty shout and raspy growl, which adds a disparaging sound when utilized; honestly the vocals aren’t employed a whole lot throughout the album, but they sound damn good when they come thundering in.
The Dark Dunes of Titan shows a lot of transitioning between melodic segues and tidal riffing, offering a constant ebb and flow of sounds. The band’s sophomore seems to reach more towards the progressive end of things, but the result is phenomenal. The riffs and percussion sound a lot heavier when placed alongside moments of introspective progressive rock, and the album as a whole is much more dynamic, offering new glimpses into the band’s sound with each successive listen. The future seems bright for this German trio, so check this and their debut out and help a band that really deserves it.