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Stray From The Path Our Oceania

Stray From The Path - Our Oceania
01. The Life You Live
02. Casual Conversations
03. Solace MP3
04. Appendix 1: If There Is Hope
05. Thick and Thin
06. A Not So Modern Parasite
07. Appendix 2: ...It Lay in the Proles
08. The Great Exodus
09. Formaldehyde Kiss
10. A Tri-Colored Goldmine
11. CODA: The Nightbirds
2005 Five Point Records

Reviewed by: Rob McFeters   //   Published: 9/28/2005

To jump right to the point, I'll say that Stray From The Path plays chaotic metal/hardcore, and they perform quite decently. However, none of this record is exciting enough to even get me interested. I wouldn't say that this is a bad record, because it's not. This band just needs some more time and experience to come into their own, and tune up the parts that fall flat.

Most of Our Oceania is fast and vicious. I hear some When Forever Comes Crashing-era Converge, and some older Dillinger Escape Plan throughout this album. The songs are played with energy and ferocity but are painfully predictable. If these guys were more adept at songwriting, they could accomplish something exciting. There are moments during this record that sound as if Stray From The Path has lost control of the songs. These directionless moments really kill the album's momentum. The group can get it together via their plentiful, chugging breakdowns, only to lose it again with their chaotic parts. This band has good ideas, but seemingly lacks the ability to follow through.

The heaviness of this album is interspersed with some melodic parts, which seem more cohesive. While said parts are still a bit trite, they are played with precision. There are also a couple of instrumental interludes that incorporate electronic beats and keyboards. It's a strange but memorable shift in the record's progression. I'm not sure if these parts would turn off the average listener, but I haven't heard many other bands incorporate similar "dance club" breaks into their albums.

The vocal performance is strong and dynamic. It's worth mentioning that it sounds like there was good effort into keeping the vocal delivery from becoming monotonous. A higher-pitched scream is used for direct delivery, while there are some much lower growls (more on the death metal side of things). There are some very sparse moments of clean singing which I could do without, but these aren't horrible by any means.

Our Oceania was produced and recorded by Joe Cincotta of Suffocation. The production is quite competent, but nothing to get excited about. The bass and one of the guitars get buried in the mix at times, otherwise the overall sound is full and powerful.

Bottom Line: To my ears, this is an average metal/hardcore record. This is about as down-the-middle as it gets for me. I'm sure many other people will like Our Oceania more than I do, but the album suffers from too many good ideas and no means to execute them. Stray From The Path could become an exciting band in time, but there's not enough on this album to keep me interested.

gay_   posted 1/4/2007 2:11:35 AM
pretenditsfiction_   posted 11/12/2005 4:58:46 PM
this is band is so talked about and on the label site, i read, it says for fans of radiohead....... definitely not radiohead worthy or even worth a second listen. if this is the future of innovative metal/ hardcore, i'm signing off.
anonymous   posted 10/3/2005 9:22:43 AM
I can see why some people may not be into this record, but I think fans of DEP and Botch would dig it.
dfgasdfs_   posted 10/1/2005 11:51:00 PM
well if they are so young, they should of waited a fiew years to realsie this piece of shit.
Bellusch_   posted 9/29/2005 1:52:26 PM
"Nine times out of ten, if your bands name is like totally wack, then so are the songs you write."

That mp3 track has too many ideas and no coherence. Seems to be all the rage these days...

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