Sunday, August 31, 2008

Otila - A Világ Színpadán (K)

It is a pity that I do not speak Hungarian. Otila is a band that I know for some years now, but due to my lack in language skills, when it comes to this Eastern European one, I am still unable to understand what they sing about. It is a pity, indeed!

It is a pity, because their music is really good. The first release was already able to fascinate me and their latest "demo" - their third one - is certainly able to stand a comparison with music released in larger and more established music scenes than the Hungarian one. Would it not be for the language, not much of a difference could be examined to similar bands from the German "underground" for instance.

Otila play some sort of gothic rock/metal, but rely on a female vocalist only. Luckily, no male grunts ruin the atmosphere in the songs. The compositions have generally a solo part and another characteristic facet: nearly every time the vocals are used, the play of the guitars as well as those of the keyboard turns not only to a simple structure but also in the background; Otila want to give the voice of Mitru Tímea enough room to unfold its potential. Actually she is able to do this in the majority of the songs, with the exception of «Elérhetetlen» in which voice and guitars challenge each other for dominance in some parts. On the issue of the riffs and the solos it can be noted that they are well performed and interesting to listen to. Even though someone might suspect this instrument to have a dominant role in the music, in case of Otila it has to share it with the vocals; the keyboards are often not more than some sound in the background; the drums give the music drive and a basis.

This band from Hungary seems like to have an idea on how to write music and they 'celebrate' this on «A Világ Színpadán» in a neat fashion. All songs are very catchy and really enjoyable, but offer little variation in terms of the song-writing. The sound is not very voluminous, compared with such a lot of successful gothic metal bands use today. Otila try to keep it simple and do not attempt to plaster everything with synthesizer textures of samples or to manipulate the vocals with some kind of reverb. Perhaps this 'simplicity' is what makes their music so enjoyable.

Would this review be posted at the Metal Archives, the rating would be higher than 80/100; and I rarely give such high ones. Perhaps my reluctance to higher scores has to do with the underground black metal I torment myself on a daily basis with or the (often) pointless scores given to albums at the Metal Archives. Nevertheless, is this demo able to entertain me over a longer period of time and I never grow tired of listening to it. I really hope the band will be able to improve even more and arouse attention beyond their native country. With more of these catchy songs a slightly better mix and a better bass drum sound, the band should certainly be able to create a larger fan base.

Note: the last two demos can be downloaded from their homepage.

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