German metal quintet, The Oklahoma Kid are back with a brand new album called Solarray on September 13th 2019 via Arising Empire.
What kind of music would you expect a band like The Oklahoma Kid to play? Chances are it’s probably not metalcore.
Stupid name aside, after all we’re not writing a review about that, what we have here is an energetic metalcore release that ticks almost every box possible for the sub-genre. It’s so very metalcore they even the most passé of metal listeners could probably point it out for what it is.
Of course, that could be seen as negative except that The Oklahoma Kid’s brand is so damn energetic it’s nigh impossible to not enjoy. From the moment Oasis slams down hard, its clear the band are going to be going all out and even the cleanly sung chorus can’t halt this momentum.
Momentum that continues into High Stakes and Shaking Off the Disease. The former punching with even more weight behind the groove while the latter’s use of electronica is intriguing.
What we have here is a showcase of a modern sound with a clean production that borders on too much at times but with the layered effects it certainly benefits from it overall. It’s thanks to that, the destructive heaviness of Feed Me Fear works so damn well and the spitting and snarling vocals add much to the overall feeling of aggression.
What may surprise though are the moments where the band think outside the box. Take Doppelgänger and its 7 plus minute length! That’s surprising at the very least but this is also one of the strongest tracks on the album. It moves at a blazing speed. The riffs fired off at a shocking speed and the only relief coming from a drop into melody and clean singing. This could make it feel disjointed but it works really well. The excitement as it builds back into one last eruption is palpable.
Back to short, heavy on the electronica metalcore with Balaclava, Solar Ray and Monster. A trio of latter half tracks that do everything possible to knock the walls down of anyone who is still resisting.
Nearing the end of the album, it’s to be expected that the energy shown throughout might not be sustained. That’s true to a point as Heartdown is a little less imaginative with an overuse of the ‘mournful’ electronica sitting in the background. Dreambender is very slow off the mark and never really goes anywhere. More of a lengthy intermission for the final track, Trailsign which works to right the ship before it capsizes completely.
Going out with a bang, it’s a slow build again but the fiery vocals prepare things nicely for when it does really get going. It’s a bit a stop-start, but that actually serves to make it a more layered and memorable track.
The latter half of Solarray isn’t quite as strong as the first half but it’s still an exceptionally good metalcore release. The likes of Oasis, High Stakes, Feed Me Fear and Doppelgänger are classy modern metalcore tracks.
The Oklahoma Kid – Solarray Full Track Listing:
2. High Stakes
3. Shaking Off the Disease
4. Feed Me Fear
7. Solar Ray
10. Dreambender II
The Oklahoma Kid - Solarray (Arising Empire)
The Final Score - 7/10