Where The Ocean Meets The Sky

Empires

Written by: AP on 20/12/2010 17:35:44

Oceans are deep and vast; the sky an infinite vacuum stretching to the outer layers of the atmosphere and beyond. Depending on the light, the point at which the two converge in the horizon is often invisible, so that where ocean ends and sky begins becomes blurred. As such, adopting such a beautiful and vast concept as the name of your band demands a just soundscape - one more befitting the genre of post-rock/metal than metalcore. But this is nonetheless what South Jersey sextet Where the Ocean Meets the Sky have chosen to go with on their debut album "Empires", and the result stirs mixed emotions.

With three guitars lobbing riffs at you, it is no surprise that melody takes a central role in WTOMTS's music, leaving the rhythm and vocals with the crumbles. But despite the profuse leads which most of us can only hope to be able to play some day, "Empires" is by and large typifying, derivative piece of music incorporating all that sells - clean versus cookie monster vocals, electronic samples, abundant breakdowns and bundles of melody packaged into a flawless, most likely auto-tuned production - but forgetting all that defines identity. In fact, while they certainly tick the relevant fan boxes, the selling points fall short themselves, particularly in the vocal department. The clean singing is average at best, and were it not for a production trick or two, would undoubtedly sound like the local chicken factory karaoke star; the growls and screams are painfully underwhelming.

As such, WTOMTS relies on the prowess of its axemen to provide a moderately entertaining eight songs of modern metalcore, but have nothing to offer in memorable songs. The songs are penned with skill, but lack the edge needed to rise above their countless peers. "Empires" is as run-of-the-mill as they come, and given the saturation that already governs the genre the band's future rests on a tightrope. Something more is needed. Until the title of track two, "We Are But Instruments", provides a befitting summary of the band's competences and, indeed, what the album sounds like: instrumental proficiency without any sense of character.

Download: We Are But Instruments, Regime Discarded, Who We Are
For the fans of: Confide, My Ticket Home, Rosaline
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.11.2010
Ci Records

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