April 9, 2007

Metal Monday: The Ottoman Empire The Way of the Blade

by

Let’s turn this shit up to eleven, it’s Metal Monday time! This week, I have the pleasure of bringing Seattle a treat from Madison, Wisconsin in the form of a review of The Ottoman Empire’s album, ‘The Way of the Blade’. 

First of all let me just say, The Ottoman Empire rocks. The first time I heard one of their gut splitting tracks I immediately sought out their album. While many people think they know what American thrash metal sounds like, The Ottoman Empire takes that ‘thrash’ label and turns it upside down. The musical talent possessed by the band members causes them to offer up some tasty morsels of thrash garnished with ample amounts of grind and power metal. The best thing about this band is how unique and original their music is. Fronted by powerful sung and growled female vocals of one Mary Zimmer, The Ottoman Empire already sets it sound apart from most thrash or power metal bands I seem to come across. These vocals are supported by intricate, fast, and slicing guitar riffs and a booming but agile bass which offers a combination of sounds so unique yet devil horn raisingly comfortable. Anyways, onto the album…

…‘The Way of the Blade’ is a solid ten track affair that is an excellent showcase for The Ottoman Empire to show off all of their strengths. The album begins with the track “Anemic World” which offers the listener an excellent taste of the type of music The Ottoman Empire plays. With groovy thrashy verses, powerful choruses, and a delightful mix of sung vocals (incredibly reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson) and a vocal chord tearing growl (which sounds like non-obnoxious and actually talented version of Dani Filth’s vocals), “Anemic World” is a sledge hammer to the eardrums of the unsuspecting listener unaware of just how skin slicingly awesome this band is. It is easily apparent after just this short, one track introduction that not only are the members of The Ottoman Empire talented as shit individually, but as a band, they truly gel, making the feel of their sound so…well, comfortable really. This album sounds like a gathering of musicians who are really enjoying themselves through rocking the shit out of you.

“Anemic World” is just the beginning, as “Demon Twin”, the album’s second track tears into the listener at the first available opportunity featuring rocking guitar lines and spine snapping harmonics. Following “Demon Twin” is the track “Ottoman Empire”. The guitar work in this track makes it clear that “Ottoman Empire” is more than just a badass sounding name to these folks. In the song, “Ottoman Empire” the band incorporates many rhythms more commonly found in Eastern European and even classical Indian music into their power thrash style providing for a sound that causes one to bang their head while at the same time being struck by the originality of the riff.

On the heels of “Ottoman Empire” comes what is one of my favorite songs off of the album, “Wrathshot”. The perfect balance of screaming and singing coupled with a driving melody and fierce riffs offer up this thrash masterpiece for the listener’s enjoyment. Just listen to the song folks, I’m not sure my words can do it justice, but it fucking rocks…the whole album fucking rocks, which brings me to the downside about the album: figuring out which of these songs is your favorite. I won’t lie to you dear readers, this is one of the best albums I’ve had the opportunity to review. With tracks like “Wrathshot” and the album’s title track, “The Way of the Blade”, The Ottoman Empire is able to show immense talent, creativity, and the ability to get your devil horns in the air. Best part of the album though, track 8, “Vendetta”. I don’t know where to begin. The song just rocks, it’s one of those songs where even though it’s just you on the ferry listening to it over headphones fighting the urge to mosh is nearly impossible. The Ottoman Empire will rock you, if you think you might like them, buy the album and you’ll realize they are even better than you thought. Not sure if you’ll like them? Then head over to their myspace page  listen to the music they have up their, then buy the CD regardless cuz you’re a fool it you don’t!

Oh, and a quick tangent, The Haunted and Dark Tranquility are going to be at El Corazon tomorrow, so if Swedish metal suits your fancy I’ll see you there! Buy some Ottoman Empire, let’s support the shot outta’ them so we can get them to town for a show…maybe alongside To No Avail…hhhmmmmmm…keep it gloomy!

 

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