Review: Osyron – Foundations

I have had the pleasure to get acquainted with the likes of Osyron before. In fact I have kept an eye on them from their maiden debut as Osyron, previously they were known as Morbid Theory, back in 2013 when they rerecorded Harbinger. This now Calgary, Alberta based Canadian band plays melodic metal with the intention to blend Northern American melodic metal with its European counterpart. Nowadays the lineup is formed by vocalist Reed, guitarists Krzysztof Stalmach and Bobby Harley, bassist Tyler Corbett, and drummer Cody Anstey. After the second release of Harbinger and 2017’s Kingsbane they have recently released their third feat of arms. This five-song album is called Foundations and spans a little over 25 minutes in which the band covers, by means of highlights, the entire Canadian history as well as the present.

Opener The Cross sets the standard and the boundaries for the rest of the release. It’s a melodic metal song with quite some bombastic aspects at a rather slow pace, with pleasantly dragging, repetitive guitars, giving the whole a somewhat oriental vibe. The clean vocals add to this impression, although they sound more raw and aggressive during the great intermezzo just over halfway through the song where they seem to duel with the drum lines. The oriental vibe remains in the next song, perhaps even more so, although there’s a bit of prog peeking around the corner as well. The album-divider is called Battle of the Thames, a power ballad with a beautifully strengthening structure. Reed shows his more sensitive side vocal-wise, a skill he apparently also possesses. Again the drums defy the vocals, creating a sweet, deep rhythm line behind the vocals, while the guitars and bass loosely frame the whole. What a way to cut an album in half. Next up is The Ones Below, where the oriental vibe from the first wo songs is replaced by a strong rock ‘n’ roll vibe, in which the bass claims the spotlight, proving they too have a definite hint of excellence. This leads me to conclude there is no other possibility than that the closing track, the epically long title song Foundations, must be a fitting end to this treat. And it is. Starting soothingly it develops into a powerhouse that slowly fades away, leaving you desperate for more.

Osyron has definitely grown since I first got the chance to hear their music. They have matured in just about all factors that influence their music in any way: Skill, composition, production, anything you can think of. There really is no weakness to be found, they have delivered an awesome album with versatility and power as its greatest selling points. The vocals, earlier the most vulnerable aspect of Osyron have immensely grown and are now one of the strong suits, along with, well, actually everything. The perkiness of the drums, the strongly humming bass, the freely frolicking guitars, they all fit together nicely making this release feel a hell of a lot shorter than it actually is. Wait, come to think of it, there actually is one weakness: this release is way too short with its just 25 minutes, that, on top of that, feel like only half that time. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Well, it turns out it flies even faster when you have some sweet, yet powerful tunes stroking your ear drums. Most certainly recommended, if it wasn’t so short and thus doesn’t qualify for a spot in my year list, it would definitely have been up there with the best. Osyron is with certainty a band to keep a close eye on.

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