|Review: Onward - Of Epoch and Inferno|
|Of Epoch and Inferno|
Label: Moribund Records
Year released: 2022
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: October 17, 2022
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
for:Of Epoch and Inferno
Rated 4.33/5 (86.67%) (6 Votes)
It's been a while since Onward last released anything, and significantly longer still since they released anything new, with New Fathoms Down and The Neverending Sun both essentially being demos that got turned into albums. While the band has always been guitar virtuoso Toby Knapp's vision, it was one that only lasted a short while as a real band, and any hopes of more new material took a pretty significant blow with the tragic death of singer Michael Grant. Despite all that, Toby has revived Onward with a new singer in tow to make a comeback with their fifth album, Of Epoch and Inferno. There's often a question of whether or not a long inactive band still has it, but Knapp has been a going concern for years with his bevy of other projects, so I would say it was only a matter of how good this would end up being. As it turns out, the answer is that it's pretty good.
Considering Toby is well known as a great guitarist, it's no surprise that his work on here is the main draw, and it's every bit as sharp and hooky as it has ever been. Further, Robert van War of Attika proves to be more than a worthy replacement for Michael, as he works in a highly aggressive style that complements the music perfectly. As good as they both are, though, I find that outside of the excellent "Picasso Eyes," none of the songs really stand out from one another. This might be in part due to Toby's solo work dominating the proceedings a bit too much this time, or maybe because the drum machine is very obviously a machine and often sounds really robotic and thin. Either way, this does make for a return that isn't as glorious as it could have been, but there's still plenty of guitar mastery on here to make this a worthy continuation of the band. Even if they're not as great as they once were, I'm glad to have them back, and I hope they move forever onward from here.
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