This double release by the progressive/death metal Slice The Cake is unfortunately the “swan song” of the band, as they have announced in their official Facebook page. And I say ‘unfortunately’ because ‘Odyssey…’ is a real metal diamond. I don’t know under what circumstances the band decided to come to an end. The fact is that in their last release they aced it. They even – I might say- transcended themselves in comparison with their previous two albums. Thus, it is really admirable that the members of Slice The Cake, in their short life as a band, managed to offer us a true piece of art, since all of the three musicians live in different countries (Australia, Sweden, and England).

Odyssey To The Gallows‘ is the introductory album of ‘Odyssey To The West‘. It is a 28-minute monologue of the hero whose story unfolds in the second album. The story is about a Pilgrim who decides to leave everything behind and begin a journey in search of God, Truth and Existence in a biblical and Shakespearean context. This context is perfectly met both in the amazing poetic writing and performance of the vocalist Gareth Mason. I found myself being equally amused when I read the lyrics after I listened to the album.

Technically, ‘Odyssey To The West‘ is a ‘crossover’ of progressive and death metal which is used beautifully in order to serve the story. The talented – as it appears- Gareth Mason uses both clear and deathcore vocals for the same purpose. In similar albums/artists I sometimes find it tiring, but in this case I somehow identified myself with the agony and the struggle of the hero because of the excellent vocal handling. This album is a theatrical play dressed in an amazing production. I am not a theater expert, but I feel confident to say that it is not easy to draw the audience’s interest with a theatrical monologue.

Both ‘Odyssey To The Gallows‘ and ‘Odyssey To The West‘ reminded me of some of the reasons I still support the metal scene, even though, through the years, it has caused me to feel a kind of emptiness and disappointment. It is not just another metal album, or just another fashionable mix of genres. It has substance, context, great compositions and passion.

Mary Kalaitzidou

From ‘Odyssey To The Gallows‘:

From ‘Odyssey To The West‘: