Band: Onward to Olympas
Album Title: The War Within Us
Label: Facedown Records
Release Date: March 15, 2011
Reviewed By: Steve
1. The Continuance
2. The War Within Us
4. Hidden Eyes
7. Unsuitable Patterns
8. The March
10. From The Mouth
Anyone who thought that Onward to Olympas might take a step back on their second Facedown album can take comfort in knowing that they did not pull any punches. OtO, took a very solid debut album in This World Is Not My Home, and made an even more aggressive, angrier album that builds on their previous work. OtO also made some lineup changes between albums. They now have a new drummer and guitarist/clean vocalist.
Musically, The War Within Us is very impressive. Over the past few years, I have listened to many albums, and I believe that many bands are trying to compete with who can have the most brutal breakdown or who can have the most breakdowns in a single album. I believe a way for bands to differentiate themselves and be original nowadays is to go back to the basics. OtO did a great job of delicately balancing breakdowns, blast beats, bass drops, and even the occasional guitar solo (which are missing from a lot of metalcore albums). Not only does this make them unique but it also shows that they know how to write and structure a song.
Lyrically, vocalist Kramer Lowe explained the lyrics in my recent interview by saying that the first album was about overcoming your past and The War Within Us builds on that because as we all know as Christians that our trials and struggles on this earth only get more challenging. Vocally, you can hear the maturity in Kramer’s voice as his growls are much deeper and angrier. The clean vocals are a little better on this album, but there isn’t a huge difference between the clean vocals on this album and their previous one.
The best song on the album was “Hidden Eyes.” This song was one of the most brutal on the album and I loved the line, “Look into the eyes of the outside. Trapped, closed in as time goes on. Looking through this clouded mind. Behind me is something I once lost and nothing I want returned.” I think that a lot of Christians can identify with that line because we all have stretches of time in our pasts that we would like to forget and never want to return.
Overall: This is an extremely solid album from an up and coming band. I don’t know why Onward to Olympas is overshadowed by many of their label mates, but I believe this album will help them gain the recognition they deserve.
RIYL: War of Ages, Nodes of Ranvier, With Life In Mind, August Burns Red