|Review: Okular - Probiotic|
Label: Regenerative Records
Year released: 2011
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: January 15, 2012
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Rated 4.75/5 (95%) (4 Votes)
There's a million bands out there consisting of young and talented musicians, who've undoubtedly practiced together for thousands of hours. Okular is no different. This progressive death metal outfit melds an array of genres from all over the metal map. Dashes of black, thrash, doom, traditional, and even power are thrown in here, all with a base in a proggy death style. That's an earful, isn't it? Songs on here go back and forth in style and tempo, interweaving complicated riffs and drum patterns into meticulously written songs that make 16 year old to-be guitar virtuoso nerds wet their pants with giddiness. Okular's debut Probiotic is an overwhelming listen at first, and I expect many listeners to simply assume that there's a lot of brilliance in their songwriting, simply due to its complexity. But the cold hard facts here are not unlike those pertaining a prog band: while there is superior technicality, and many upbeat powerful riffs, it is rare that they come together into an emotive or evocative song.
I hate trouncing new bands, especially ones who are as clearly talented as Okular. The band just isn't a cohesive unit yet. The songs don't meld into one or have their own, distinct voices, and neither does the band. Underneath all the talent and obvious youthful enthusiasm on Probiotic, I can't say that I remember any song layouts, or more than one or two riffs. I just remember being impressed by the songwriting and meshing of genres. Being impressed like that counts for something, but it isn't enough.
In the end, there's an appealing aural garishness to Probiotic, and in some ways it is an auspicious debut. Flashy talent is on display here, but it's within a band that has not yet clicked. Moreover, there is little emotional potency in the music. There is potential lying underneath the mess, and hopefully the band can capture it on the next record.
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