There are moments in music where you find something that stands out for being different or for trying something that other bands have never tried before. Sometimes we see bands change their sound for the sake of evolving or even trying to do something that they feel will allow their sound to grow as they grow. With Olm there seems to be a seed that has been planted and has sprouted into something massive but beautiful.
Olm, the second record by Australian technical death metal band Hadal Maw, shows there are signs that the band have experimented with their sound and have found new ways to make their tone more ambient, if not more aggressive. The record opens with the track “Leviathan”; a dark and ambient sounding track which opens slow but straight to the point. The feeling you will most likely receive from this song is one that sneaks up from behind and grabs you in the blink of an eye. It’s what we would want to expect from it, though it is only an introduction track into what we are about to experience.
After our introduction track has ended we are brought into the progressive-sounding number “Affluenza” which breaks the ice for us with its crushing tone of the guitar accompanied by the ravaging vocals of Hadal Maw’s singer, Sam Dillon. He delivers a very strong approach to his style of vocals on this song and on the record in general; it’s a track which offers different ranges for fans of their death metal but also brings together a nice little mix of calm yet focused guitar work. This helps it build into something rather massive by incorporating technicality which shows itself within the work and showcases the skills of guitarists Ben Boyle and Nick Rackham.
Olm shows fans new and old just what Hadal Maw have to offer and what they can do in terms of their musicality. It seems that this record is able to reach every branch of the extreme metal tree by taking something familiar and recreating it in the image that is Hadal Maw. The record really gives us something that stands out from most of 2017’s releases. It is an album that will not only send its listeners into a mad frenzy but will also make us think while we listen.
An example of this comes from the tracks “Failed Harvest” and “Germinate” which find ways of taking us on an experience that goes from being a heavy, full-on extreme sound to a calm yet very mellow tone that finds ways of going between sounds. It takes the skills and ideas that the band have and mashes these together into an experience like no other, which shows us that this record has some rather interesting ideas to offer.
All in all, Olm is a record that takes what we know and recreates everything we thought we knew into something massive, if not aggressive to its core, bringing together a record that does its best to send its listener into a mad frenzy of mental and emotional vibes. It really is something to be proud of when doing something of this magnitude.
Olm is out now!