ODD CREW - 'Mark These Words' (2015)

17 October 2015
ODD CREW - 'Mark These Words' (2015)
  • Лейбъл: KMK
  • Издаден: 2015
  • Aвтор: Стефан Топузов
  • Оценка:

It's ok, for a Bulgarian band,” reads the literal or implied conclusion of every review about a metal record from out country you've ever read. Couldn't be otherwise. The local scene lacks a lot of things like traditions, know-how, and – most obviously – finances, which has opened a vast abyss between our bands and those from the US, UK, Sweden and Germany that we all love to listen to. An uncrossable abyss where many Bulgarian musicians have found a convenient excuse. 

Well, this just ended. ODD CREW beat this game. Their new album, 'Mark These Words,' is produced by Daniel Bergstrand and mixed by Jason Suecof – a coupe of guys, whose resumes read like lists of every metal kid's most listened to albums from the last 15 years. In this album, everything is made the way everyone has been telling you it should be done (but they couldn't do it themselves because, oh cruel faith, they were born here*). It is the end. The levelling of the field that does away with all technical excuses. All that is left is for the songs themselves to stand on their own two feet.
Those in 'Mark These Words' most certainly do. All of ODD CREW's albums until now have been marked by a distinct stylistic concept – from the Southern vibe of 'We Are What We Are' (2008), to the pedal-to-the-metal approach of 'Beyond the Shell' (2012). This time around the focus is on dynamics, as is made evident by the opening title track.
From the vocals, that do the old NWOAHM good cop/bad cop trick in the choruses and verses, through the spontaneously erupting riffs, to the fact that there's rarely two same verses in a song, and instead they are broken down mirror versions of each other, 'Mark These Words' is an album where the music treads no water.
And then you have the same sort of dynamic surfacing at an album level, as the vast differences between the 11 tracks. The brooding semi-ballad 'Shapes in Grey,' for example, is sandwitched between the fist-pumping anthem 'The More in Me' and the total metal massacre that is 'Bury the Sorrow.'
Besides the most dynamic, this is also – pardon the silly word – ODD CREW's most optimised album so far. The arrangements are tightened to the point of maximum efficiency, and the concise, three to four minute songs give you an equal amount of reasons to severely damage your neck while headbanging, as the twice as long ones from the previous album did. Things like that are the point of working with people who have experience. With this album, the beforementioned experience sets foot on Bulgarian soil – and this is something that benefits all of us. 
* As if being born in, for example, New Orleans, instantly gives you a bunch of awesome advantages in life.