The sixth album from Greece's On Thorns I Lay is yet another giant leap for the band both musically and aesthetically. While evolution seems to be the m.o. for this fine band, even fans could not have anticipated the startling growth this time out. OTIL can no longer be consigned to the doom and goth metal ghettos, judging by this new slab. If anything, like Katatonia and Opeth, OTIL have busted the genre wide open and simply make deeply moving, dynamic, heavy rock music. Crystal clean vocal production, varying tempos, and a complexly textured mix of sheer instrumental and songwriting prowess set this band apart from many of its former peers. Lyrically, OTIL stand on the bleaker side of the divide, but this is tempered by their progressive, artful rendering of power, dynamic, range, and intensity. This is a band interested in balancing its attack with depth and dimension. Where pianos and female vocals enter as they do on "Poster on a Wall," they slide into the mix surreptitiously at first and with such a gradual procession they blend into the more pronounced riffing. Elsewhere, such as on "Afraid to Believe," the grinding guitars are held in check only by the punched-up, clean drum production that gives singer Minas a ledge to walk out on above the din. The elegiac processional of "When I'm Gone" should be blaring from the radio of every rock & roll station in America right now, and the sheer elegance of the strings, acoustic guitar, and acoustic piano on "Dawn of Loss" is nothing short of breathtaking. Egocentric is a collection of deeply emotional songs. They are dark to be sure, but they are also redemptive in their idiosyncratic way. OTIL, along with their aforementioned comrades, are capable of shaping an entirely new genre from the ruins of black and death metal.
Years Active: '90s, '00s
Originally named Phlebotomy, Greece's On Thorns I Lay started out in 1992, recording a demo and a 7" EP under that name before making the name-switch in time for their 1995 debut album, Sound of Beautiful Experience. Heavily influenced by death/doom metal acts like Paradise Lost and Anathema in their infancy, On Thorns I Lay would evolve along a similar path as these bands over the course of subsequent albums Orama (1997), Crystal Tears (1999), and Future Narcotic (2000), eventually arriving at a... Full bio