October Sky

Hell Isn't My Home

Written by: PP on 03/05/2011 06:14:01

Canadian rockers October Sky released their debut full length "Hell Isn't My Home" already back in 2008, but it's still being promoted across the world for some strange reason, especially when considering they already have newer material out in the form of a new EP. But I suppose part of the reason is their sound and how close of a match it is for anyone who used to like Muse before megalomania took over their sound. That is, "Absolution"-era and before.

Vocalist Karl Raymond owns an excellent set of pipes as we see on, for instance, "Sacrifice", where he sounds about as close to Matthew Bellamy as any I've heard. Perhaps even more so on the title track, incidentally the best track on the record, an ambitious rock song with echoing riffs that circle around the magnificent soundscape nicely. Make no mistake, this is straight out of the Muse arsenal, but considering October Sky have kept their feet firmly on the ground instead of floating uselessly somewhere near the stratosphere (see: any newer Muse material), is anyone complaining? Again, most of this is thanks to Raymond's dreamy, but beautifully somber vocal style, which is the focal point of pretty much every track on the record.

Occasionally, the band does experiment with empty ambiance that seems like filler in between the big space rock riffs. It doesn't work nearly as well as the all-encompassing vocal/guitar dynamic which dominates the majority of the album. That being said, only a few tracks reach the sort of status where they should be recommended for the wider audience. While Raymond's performance is great throughout in technical terms, he doesn't always match his singing talent with catchy enough lines to keep the listener interested. There's a track or two where the band sounds like Incubus at their poppiest (think "Are You In?"), and it's here where the band has most impact. More focus is needed, the ambience needs to be dropped, and the songs need to be condensed into more direct punches. Then October Sky will be a force to be reckoned with, but in this manifestation, too much is missing to separate it from the other Muse-inspired bands hoping for a breakthrough.


Download: Hell Isn't My Home, The Message
For the fans of: Muse
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 11.11.2010 (original release 2008)

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