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A different type of nu-metal - 71%

PorcupineOfDoom, March 26th, 2015

Italian metal doesn't normally get to me. Stuff from the country always seems just average, sometimes less than that, especially when it comes to gothic metal. So what have we here? A dark/gothic/nu-metal act from Italy that I find decently enjoyable? It's certainly some weird stuff, but there's an endearing quality about it. The very least it has going for it is its originality.

No doubt people will be put off by the nu-metal tag, but without those elements I don't think The Slow Fade of Loving Things would be as enjoyable. Admittedly the guitars are prone to repetitive chugging and the vocals follow a very poor core pattern at times, but this isn't a group of Linkin Park wannabes or the Limp Bizkit revival crew. They're far more original than that and merit some praise for the inventive things that they do.

Besides the chugging, the guitars also provide something like background noise. Aside from some hooks or randomly out of tune notes that pop up occasionally they don't attract too much attention. What they do for the band is leave a gloomy atmosphere hanging over everything else, and I find myself focusing more on the bass-line that penetrates the smog the guitars leave behind. The ability to hear the bass comes and goes throughout, but for the most part it is very noticeably present and it actually takes over the role of leading the band at times. Bands that do things like this always seem to appeal to me, and Osian can join that list, which seems to be expanding rapidly at the moment.

Inconsistency isn't much of a problem for most of the band, but the vocalist seems unable to decide what exactly his goal is. At times he does a shout-growl hybrid that doesn't sound too bad, but at others he resorts to a yell that makes me cringe because of how cliche it is in nu-metal and metalcore. And it doesn't stop there, because he does cleans too. And not just one kind, many, many different kinds. There's the low mumbled kind that sound really half-assed, then the semi-harsh ones that are once again okay, and then the stereotypical core kind. And that's the bit that really grinds my gears, because there's no need for them to be there and they sound awful, as they normally do. I think by this point he's already showcased enough.

A nice inclusion on some of the tracks are some light sections that are not quite acoustic. They tend to lead the band into the rest of the song and are never heard of afterwards, but I find them very effective and they serve to emphasise the power that comes once the band gets into full swing. They also serve as a surprising change of direction for a band that sticks to the same guns for the most part.

Osian might not have the direction that some bands have and they aren't as easy to get into as other bands in their genre, but they're different from the norm and well worth a listen if you fancy something different. In particular I'd say that The Place of Strawberries was the best track, but none of the others stand out as being noticeably worse than the others and the whole album deserves a shot.