Octanic are known for their big, melodic metal sounds, and their ten track debut does not disappoint. Opener Aeternus Imperium combines classic metal sounds with a unique blend of keys and guitar, with vocalist Jay Shepherdson moving seamlessly between aggressive growls and melody. With the assistance of the Adelaide University Choral Society lending their talents to this number, it certainly sets the tone for the rest of the album.
It would be foolish to try and group Octanic into one genre. The rest of their album follows suit from Aeternus Imperium in that they blend multiple metal sounds to create a unique mixture of styles. King For A Day takes a melodic hard rock route, leaning heavily on synth sounds, while Addict takes a gentler approach with a traditional piano introduction.
One of the standouts of the album is Deadworld, a heavy, in your face number, that manages to combine post apocalyptic themes with a choir with phenomenal results.
There’s something to be said for bands who can write catchy metal songs, while maintaining a certain level of heaviness. Octanic’s debut features three such songs. While Solus may not necessarily be considered ‘heavy’ in most circles, it is most definitely a metal song. The slowest on the album, it still manages to fit in solos by both guitarists, Daniel Cederblad and Stefan Butler.
Pariah is the only track featured on the album that also appeared on the band’s 2008 EP Industry, but the re-vamped version far surpasses the original. With catchy lyrics and Andrew Baillie’s heavy synth sounds it’s a certain standout of the album. Not to be out done, however, The Devil Pays Higher wraps things up perfectly. It’s fun, high energy and catchy. It’s heavy, but you can still move to it. It perfectly bookends the album, and yet you’re left wanting more, not because something is lacking, but because listening to the album is such a genuinely enjoyable experience.
Review by Sofie Marsden.