A couple of weeks ago(maybe even months at this stage) I received a press package from an Italian band called Onryou and was askes to check it out. Due to a number of boring factors, I never got the chance to give the album a thorough listen but now that I have a few days off for the holidays, I decided to give it a spin.
But first a bit of background. Ingraved are an Italian death/metalcore band (there listed as death metal on Metal Archives, but I wouldn’t agree with that). “Onryou” is the 3rd release from the Italian 5 piece and was released by Power Pain Records on October 31st.
“Onryou”, according to my good friend Wikipedia, a mythological spirit from Japanese folklore who is able to return to the physical world in order to seek revenge. Very metal indeed. The album’s striking artwork, I assume, is a representation of this vengeance seeking specter. The album cover definitely stands out from other metal album art, however, the Japanese mythology will undoubtedly bring about thoughts of Triviums oriental themed “Shogun” (which I am a fan of.)
“Onryou” do have a few riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a Trivium album but there’s not much in the way of familiarity between the two bands. Ingraved are much more metal/deathcore orientated and appear to be fans of a good ol breakdown when they can fit one in.
The first 4 songs of “Onryou” left me feeling a little underwhelmed as, while they’re full of energy, they all seem to follow the same pattern and there is nothing in them I haven’t heard a million other bands do before. However, by the time track 5, “The Burden” comes blasting out of the speakers, the album quickly picks up and we see Ingraved’s true quality and hints of what levels they may reach in the future. The second half of the album is far more adventurous and the Italian’s try out a few different ideas, which makes the songs far more entertaining and hooked me in.
My personal favorite tracks on the album are “The Burden” and “Tsuna-me” but my favorite riff is definitely the ominous, foreboding intro to album closer, ” Of A Promise Broken”.
What struck me most about the musicianship on the album was the drumming. Donatello Chirico is clearly a talented drummer and it is his contributions behind the skins that help change some of the more generic riffs and passages into memorable riffs and sections. Guitarists Martin Sarcinella and Gian Spalluto aren’t the most technical guitarists in the world but do the simple things right. In the second half of the album they begin to add a few leads to the songs and mess around with different melodies, to varying degrees of success, but if they build on the promise they show on the second half of the album, they could come up with something special on their next release.
Vocalist Tony Gianfreda is quite apt at screaming and growling, but his clean vocals really don’t do it for me. He seems to be trying to imitate Burton C.Bell but never quite gets the impression spot on. However, I’m not actually a huge fan of Burton’s clean vocals so I may be biased.
Overall, “Onryou” is a quality effort from a young band who are definitely worth keeping an eye on. If your a metalcore fan and like your metal simple but effective, then pick this up today.