Album Review: “Atomic” by Octalux

So the opportunity came up to check out the latest release from the band Octalux out of Louisville, Kentucky.  They released an album titled “Atomic” in November 2015.   I haven’t heard of these guys before so I listened to this entire album a few times before sitting down to talk about it.  Overall my opinion of this album is that it is a decent release and worth checking out.  It’s got a little something for every style of rock music fan.

Octalux’s music is best described as a rock fusion of alternative, punk and I heard an undertone of grunge.  Although some refer to them as metal, I wouldn’t say this particular album holds that to be true except for a few riffs and melodies in a few of their songs (“Atomic”, “Sonic Orgy of Doom” and “No On Will Love You Forever”), but not enough to me to really consider it as metal, but definitely in the rock genre.  So I am sticking my initial thought of them having the sound of a rock fusion of alternative, punk and grunge.

They have some slower tempo songs and then have many more upbeat tempo songs.  The instrumental music is solid throughout the album so fans of the instrumental rock music will really dig this.  The vocals were a bit of a struggle for me to grasp with what direction they were trying to go.  While I was listening to each song, when I would expect to hear vocals that would punch through as strong as the music was, like on “Sallow”,  there seemed to be a bit of a struggle in either getting out the initial vocals at that “in your face aggression” level to match the music or to continue to match that level consistently throughout the song.

There’s an opportunity there for vocalist, Brandon Hurley to tweak the vocals a bit to punch through in their live shows to hit the intensity levels that the fans would expect.  I just didn’t hear it consistently enough through the album, which would be my only negative comment about it.   Which in my opinion really isn’t a huge issue, just something I would have preferred more of.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s bad, what I am saying is working on punching through each song with those strong vocals especially the more punk toned songs would bring each song up to a new level for the listener.  Growing up on the rock genre, I spent alot of time exposed to punk (especially Black Flag and Suicidal Tendencies) and metal vocal styles.  Vocals are something I tend to want to hear matched to the intensity level of the music.  So that was really my only issue and having not seen them perform live, I can’t speak to how the vocals are in a live show.

The album is good and I think many of you would enjoy it.  Definitely worth checking out.  No two people ever have the same opinions about music so take my input, but listen for yourself.  You make think differently.

Here’s how you can check out Octalux for yourself and pick up a copy of their album.  Visit Octalux on Bandcamp.

Octalux is:

Brandon Hurley-guitars/vox
Tony Dell’Orfano -lead guitar/vox
Brent Dodds- bass/vox
Chase Gabbard -drums

 

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