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Modern metal as a genre may be becoming more rigidly defined as the scene grows, but what is modernity without innovation? German modern metal band The Oklahoma Kid have wholly lived out this principle with their debut album Solarray.
Formed in 2012, this energetic and highly creative band has released two EPs, Fortuneteller in 2014 followed by 2015’s Doppelganger, to carve out a place on the modern metal map that is both relatable, and unique.
The Oklahoma Kid embrace a wide pendulum swing of sonic extremes, combining angst-laden breakdowns with intricate leads and otherworldly synth-heavy atmospheric interludes. Even within each track, such as the track Doppelgaenger, many movements between peaking rage with punk-infused attitude, and practically meditative atmospheric sections with emotive clean vocals, keep the surprises coming.
Solarray is an album of many textures and while at times borders avant-garde levels of experimentation, it is well executed and retains enough raw energy and catchy melodies to appeal to melodic metalcore fans.
Other tracks such as High Stakes are a little more down-the-line, with heavier riffs, fantastic full-bodied bass lines, persistent groove and frenetic vocals only gradually giving way to surrealistic musical spaces towards the end. Following the instrumental bridge Dreambender II, the final track Trailsign is the pièce de résistance of Solarray. Opening with an instantly memorable vocal melody, it develops in several directions from fists-in-the-air metalcore to an unnerving vocal cameo laid over a moody bass-heavy passage, and back to mid-pace breakdowns artfully interspaced with pauses and pull-backs, and some stunning solos, lifting this track to a different level.
Solarray is an album of many textures and while at times borders avant-garde levels of experimentation, it is well executed and retains enough raw energy and catchy melodies to appeal to melodic metalcore fans. Certainly a classy debut from a band that clearly has plenty more from which to innovate and challenge the boundaries of metalcore.
STANDOUT TRACKS: High Stakes, Doppelgaenger, Trailsign
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