Finnish progressive metal band Oddland sound like they have had quite the wild ride these last few years. They won the Suomi Metal Star contest and ended up signing with Century Media to record their debut album, “The Treachery of Senses.” Their own bio comments on how most contest winning bands often release a song or an album and then disappear; a fate Oddland plans to avoid.
This is not your typical Dream Theater style progressive metal. I honestly cannot think of anyone that Oddland brings to mind, but their bio lists Tool, Symphony X, Alice in Chains, Faith No More and Fates Warning. I cannot say I really hear much of those bands in this music other than that Symphony X and Fates Warning are both prog metal. On the upside, I suppose that makes Oddland sound original, at least to my ears.
It is no surprise that they won a contest. The music on “The Treachery of Senses” is both technically magnificent and easily listenable. One of my biggest complaints with prog metal is that songwriting sometimes takes a backseat to virtuoso instrumentation and fretboard gymnastics. There is plenty for the shred-heads to drool over on “The Treachery of Senses” but the average music listener, like me, can also enjoy this album without feeling too left out. I think the vocal talents of Sakari Ojanen do a splendid job of engaging the listener and giving the music a rallying point around which to focus.
The sound quality on “The Treachery of Senses” is clean and clear, exactly what one would expect from a progressive production. Ten songs clock in at 51 minutes giving the listener a full album experience but not overstaying its welcome. I was not entirely sold on these guys when I started the album, but by the time I got to the end they definitely grew on me. I can definitely recommend Oddland for fans of progressive metal. Check out the opening track “Above and Beyond.”