Sever the Sun
posted on 1/2011 By:
Sever the Sun is an ambitious little self-produced EP from Italy’s Otivm. The five tracks on this beast are all pretty similar in nature, with the heavier moments drawing inspiration from prog-death acts Necrophagist, Illogicist and Cynic, while their cleaner acoustic driven parts are pure Opeth worship. For the most part the recipe works, and with the members in the group hovering right around the age of 19, this is a fairly decent second offering by this young and hungry five-piece.
Opening track, “A Heap of Broken Images” (the first of two tracks on their Myspace page), starts off with a speedy, straightforward riff, but once the verse section begins the odd meters and furious time changes ensue. They go into some Chili Peppers-esque funk in the middle, kind of throwing things for a bit of a loop, and then the first of many acoustic interludes spread throughout the album comes into play. “Idols of Ashes”, probably the weakest of the five, comes next and begins with a mid-tempo riff and eventually leads into another acoustic piece taken right from the simpler acoustic interludes from Orchid/Morningrise-era Opeth. The English coupled with a very thick Furlan accent takes a bit of getting used to when it comes to the cleans, but even with a couple of questionable notes here and there, and with some more than adequate low-end growling during the heavy, it’s a solid vocal performance overall.
While the first couple of tracks are respectable enough, “Portrait” comes next and is probably the best track on the album. The first of a couple of shining moments comes at the 0:40 mark of the song, with a blistering riff-meets-kick-drum part that gets my head bobbing every damn time. When Otivm does get back in the studio to start the writing process for their next outing, this is the track that should serve as the template. Near the end they go into a little jam with some moving and uplifting guitar harmonies, with some tasty bass lines underneath.
“Silence and Awakening” is the mellowest track of the five, and they go into a nice little classic-rock-tinged jam in the middle, while nine-plus-minute closer "The Dividing Veil" (the other song over at Myspace) contains one of the finer sounding acoustic sections chock full of dark and gloomy emotion. You could argue that the Opeth-ian moments come around too often for the overall good of the album, but I’d also argue these cats could probably write one hell of an acoustic album. As a matter of fact, as solid as the metal ideas come across, the acoustic moments seem to shine a bit brighter.
Outside of a bit of slop here and there instrumentally, and some questionable choices of notes both vocally and guitar solo-wise, the only other thing I could really complain about is the mix. The snare drum gets lost altogether periodically, the guitar tone could be a bit thicker, and the bass could have a little less click to it. But again, this is a self-produced EP, and it's a most-promising step in the right direction for this young band. I could hardly tell you to go track this down, but I do believe we’ll hear from Otivm again in the near future, and I really do hope they find the opportunity to get themselves some time in a quality studio with a good producer to help show them the way.
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