OLAM
I Will Guide Thy Hand
(2020)
Crank this to 8.8 of 11
Genre:
Hardcore, Mathcore
Sounds Like:
Botch, Converge, The Chariot
Monday, September 16, 2019
The debut album by Indianapolis natives OLAM (Of Lions and Men) is an unrelenting and bruising combination of hardcore and mathcore. I Will Guide Thy Hand is so fucking unforgiving, it will test your patience if your not a fan of this style of metal. The way they blend elements of old school hardcore and heavy math-like arrangements is quite impressive.

There is a chaotic nature to the album, yet they keep things in check and don’t go too far off the rails to be considered noise rock. Check out the track “Under My  Breath,” it’s a phenomenal tune that encapsulates what they are about; it’s dark and twisted with tremendous vocals. “Bloodletting” is an odd track that will catch you off guard, and yes, it’s only 1:15 long, but the insane vocals are out there. Another standout cut is ”Razorblades and Neckties,” the subtle shifts in rhythm are insane and fluid for a hardcore, plus the little acoustic section is a nice touch.

Tracklist:
1. Vestal 01:05
2. Wounds 03:05
3. Beth, The Birds, The Grip 03:31
4. Under My Breath 04:01
5. Bloodletting 01:15
6. Ventriloquism 02:34
7. Razorblades As Neckties 04:00
8. For Hope Lost 03:35
9. Trenchant 01:36
10. I Will Guide Thy Hand 07:28

Standout Track(s)
”Razorblades and Neckties,” “For Hope Lost” and “Under My Breath”

Adult Beverage Pairing
Twice-As-Wise Double IPA from Blind Owl Brewery in Indianapolis. This  9.0% ABV brew features a blend of Mosaic and Centennial hops with a triple dry hop blend after the boil. This beer is not for the faint of heart or soft of palate. The perfect pairing with I Will Guide Thy Hand.

ROTATION RECAP:
Vocal Performance
9 of 11

Originality
8.8 of 11

Risk of Subwoofer Damage
8.7 of 11

Captivation and Variety
9  of 11

Weight of the Heavy
9.9 of 11

Rhythmic Pace
8.7 of 11
 
Lyrics and Song Structure
9.1 of 11

Fretwork Prowess
8.7 of 11

Overall Album Flow
8.8 of 11

Album Cover Aesthetics
8.8 of 11

Production Value
8.9 of 11

Final Thoughts
We urge you to dive into this album, its really engrossing once you give it a few rotations. We can only hope these guys can keep up the quality and diverse musicianship on future albums, the way Norma Jean and Will Haven have. We have seen so many hardcore bands branch out and fuck up their signature sound, its a shame. This is easily one of this years top hardcore releases to date. 

OLAM is:
Jake Hahn - Guitar/Vocals
Josh Batts - Bass
Nathan Monk - Drums

Follow OLAM: Bandcamp / Facebook
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