It was just last year that we heard from Odd Logic, a progressive metal band hailing from Tacoma, WA. Last year’s “Penny for Your Thoughts” was a fantastic and melodic trip into madness. It was, however, more of a solo effort from singer/guitarist Sean Thompson, as the band was having some trouble connecting to make new music. This year, however, sees that connection come back together for “Effigy”, another fantastical foray into melodic prog metal. Now, I had only first discovered Odd Logic with “Penny”, so this is my first time hearing the full band in action. I do find the contrasts between these albums very interesting.
“Effigy”, by the way, is defined as “a model of a person, made in order to be damaged or destroyed as a protest or expression of anger”. I don’t pretend to know the story behind the album yet, but I do know that Odd Logic makes concept albums, and they really flow perfectly. Sean told me when he sent the promo that I should listen to the album 5 times before writing a review. I think I’m at 6 right now. His advice is very wise, though, as “Effigy” is far more to take in than the previous one, with much longer songs and more complex passages. In fact, right off the bat, the title track starts the album with a 17+ minute epic that gives us a taste of what to expect on this album.
The band is back and consists of Sean Thompson on vocals, guitars, and keys; Stephen Pierce (no longer in the band) on guitars; Mike Lee on bass; and Pete Hanson on drums. Production is far slicker, and you can tell this was a group effort. This album is much denser, with lots more distortion, harsh vox at times, and just a bigger sound overall. “Penny” had lots of space and this off kilter loud-soft mentality, while “Effigy” is heavier, more expansive, and fuller in sound. In one sense, it is almost more progressive, but only in a technical sense, as the album has far more riffage, guitar licks, and instrumental portions. In another sense, it is less progressive because it lacks a little bit of the quirkiness in the previous album.
With the full band back, I get some new sounds in the music that I wasn’t expecting. Pete’s drums sound somewhat more professional and technical, especially his thundering blast beats. Mike’s bass joins Pete’s drums to form this heavier, more metallic rhythm section that simply rocks. Together, they sound full and bristling with muscles. I’m seriously impressed with their work.
Sean once again impresses with his unique voice. His range is outstanding, with buttery lows and intense highs; not to mention the melodic and severely catchy vocal lines. The lyrics, too, are poet and well written, which I appreciate. I’m also not normally a harsh vox dude, but I absolutely love the harsh vocals on this album. They come courtesy of Pete.
Back to Sean, though. He and Stephen handle guitars, laying down intense riffage. Their riffs are massive and very distorted, with that hint of thrash, yes, but also alternative rock. Finally, Sean also handles the keys here, and I think they deserve special mention. The mix here is quite good because the keys are heard clearly through all the rougher metallic sounds, featuring a nice amount of quirk and synth, not to mention sweet melodies.
There are definitely much heavier parts in this album compared to the previous one, and one song especially, “Mercenary”, gives me Megadeth and 80’s Metallica vibes. It gets a bit thrashy at times, which I normally don’t like all that much, but there is something about the hefty riffs and the sweet harsh vocals from Pete that really jives with me, probably because Pete gives a nice little twist at the end of his vocal lines that feels like Megadeth and I just love that.
Favorite songs here include the epic title track, the thrashy and heavy “Mercenary”, the soaring heaviness of “Iron Skyline”, and the lovelier but still heavy “Maiden Child”. These songs are rather expansive, and the album in general is rich with heavier moments, like “Mercenary”; more ethereal and soaring pieces, like “Iron Skyline”; and songs with variety, like the crunchy and synthy contrasts of “Maiden Child”. These guys really have a way of ending albums with melodic and sublime moments, and this album is no different, too.
So, ultimately, Odd Logic’s new album will stand tall with the best of 2017, I am sure of it. It is huge and heavy, as well as melodic and incredibly well written. With each listen, you hear more intricacies and fall deeper into the well of composition, ending up in some very special places. These guys deserve way more attention than they are getting, and so I hope you’ll purchase this album to support this amazing band. I hear there is a physical version coming soon, so I think I’ll buy one of those for myself.