Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Hole, and other Seattle grunge icons who exploded in the early '90s didn't invent the idea of angst in heavy rock, but their popularity did a lot to push metal and hard rock in a much more introspective, darkly emotional direction -- and in 2004, the impact of that Seattle explosion was still being felt all over the metal/hard rock landscape. Just ask the members of Oddzar, whose self-titled debut album takes a long, hard look at the darker emotions of youth. By 2000s standards, Oddzar's troubled, angst-ridden themes aren't groundbreaking; many other post-Nirvana artists have offered an in-depth analysis of their emotional turmoil. This CD, however, is a cut above many of the other angstfests that came out in 2004. Oddzar's work is best described as a blend of alternative metal and post-grunge with a slight dose of screamo, also known as post-hardcore or melodic hardcore. Oddzar isn't a screamo band per se; they aren't going out of their way to emulate From Autumn to Ashes, Hopesfall, Nora, or the Postman Syndrome. Rather, Oddzar's primary influences include the Deftones, Nirvana, Tool, Godsmack, and Nothingface, and those bands have done a lot more to influence Oddzar than the screamo outfits of the late '90s and 2000s. Nonetheless, Oddzar does have some of screamo's clean vocals/screaming vocals contrast going on, although the screams only account for a fraction of the singing -- and while this album is definitely heavy and intense, Oddzar never fails to be melodic. These guys have a real sense of craftsmanship; instead of engaging in volume for the sake of volume, Oddzar provides well-crafted songs that would hold up well if the band had to record an unplugged acoustic set. This generally promising debut indicates that Oddzar is well worth keeping an eye on.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson