Occasional Symmetry is a five-piece progressive rock band from Perth, Western Australia. They are a band prone to unusual time signatures, incredible vocals and a powerful sense of melody/groove underpinning each track. They are atmospheric but loud at the same time. Deftones and Tool definitely came to mind, as did Killswitch Engage.
This six-track EP Circle Work opens with the smooth, multi-layered piece of sonic music entitled “Frequencies.” A slick guitar arpeggio is quickly overcome by chugging, soft licks which reverberate into the abyss. Deftones-esque distorted guitars suddenly pulse and tear into view, as the lead vocalist belts out in a melodic, but guttural tone. The loud-quiet dynamic is brilliant here. The verses build beautiful towards an equally beautifully, but brutally satisfying chorus laden with electrifying guitars and screeching vocals. Occasional Symmetry truly nail sthat sweet spot between a beautiful melody and chaotic noise.
“Jade Walls” bursts into view with a chugging, fuzzy riff and an explosion of drum cymbals, a metallic lead guitar melody and the lead vocalist’s powerful voice punctuating the cacophony of sound which surrounds him. For fellow fans of a nu-metal/prog-rock era that I had thought long dead and gone, this sound is a welcome wave of nostalgia mixed with something new, unique and interesting. It’s everything that any fan of the aforementioned genres would seek from a new band of this stylistic tendency.
The third track “Obey” opens with a steady hi-hat rhythm and a slow, belting electric guitar. Distortion and chaos abound once again, yet it’s always written and executed in a highly melodic, soothing, almost-ethereal manner. Vocals don’t emerge until a quarter of the track has passed, yet the simplistic instrumental melodies underpinning the track manage to somehow captivate, rather than bore, during that time.
All in all, while this short EP is littered with similar builds and songwriting tendencies, Occasional Symmetry knows how to avoid boring listeners; their songs are great. That’s the key to creating a thematically consistent album, while ensuring that each song is as exciting as the last.
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