From the ashes of Scarcinogen came Of One Blood. Almost all the same members under a new name and if this album is anything to go by, a bigger and better passion and energy towards their art. Their new album Out Of the Shadows, which is out tomorrow, has revisited and improved versions of some Scarcinogen songs as well as new tracks.
Of One Blood spent six months recording and producing this album. It was a long wait but definitely well worth it. They are another entirely independent band who have done everything themselves; artwork, recording, producing and promoting which is an impressive feat in and of itself but the quality alone is just incredible.
The album starts with the short, atmospheric track, Out Of the Shadows,a song that samples the final track Break In Reality and eventually builds up to a breakdown before smoothly moving on to the next track- Legion.
Track number two, Legion is a song about war which I think is written from a soldier’s perspective. It’s a dark song dealing with dark subjects while asserting a very anti-war stance. Stylistically, it’s one of the strongest tracks and it’s one I desperately want to see live but there’s a tiny section where the members are all talking (mumbling?) at once that doesn’t quite reach the desired sinister, eerie tone. It really doesn’t take away from Legion as a track though and it remains one of the best on the album.
One of the best things about this album is hearing vocalist Alistair Wishart embracing clean vocals as well as screaming. This is especially great on From Inside in which he uses clean vocals for the choruses- something about it really gives the song an edge.
The first song released from this album is probably the best track from the album (which makes it a good choice for the first release eh?). A deeply cynical, aggressive effort full of gut-punching lyrics such as
‘Why can’t you just show your face,
The truth behind the mask?
Buried beneath the pretension, you’re afraid
It’s a great track all round; it is fast paced,passionate and comes to a grinding halt that just intensifies the dramatic tone.
Out of the Shadows is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year and I really did feel stunned when I initially heard it; Of One Blood have really surpassed most of their peers in terms of song writing, production and are insanely hard working. A lot of independent bands see what they do as a hobby, Of One Blood are quite obviously extremely serious about what they do and I think if they continue in the direction they’re taking, they may get some well-earned recognition. There were few faults with the album, I thought that Fallen Reign was a particularly weak track, especially by the band’s standards and on the final track, the vocals need a bit of improvement- they’re a little weak but really, that’s it. Of One Blood don’t have any weak members, every track was tight, the drums are just phenomenal and seeing their drummer, Hoogz live is an experience in and of itself. They’re heavily influenced by guitar gods Machine Head and this influence has lead to some incredible solos within this album without any emulation of Machine Head themselves.
Out of 10? 9.5
Everybody should see Of One Blood at least once in their lifetime, the album is available tomorrow and for a quick idea of what to expect (even after reading this review) watch their video for Masks: