Oni
Alone EP

At the end of last year, Oni released their new EP, Alone. While I was aware of it being released, I didn’t get the chance to listen until after the new year. This nearly 25-minute EP is a digital only release, which may have contributed to it not showing up on my radar. I remember listening to and enjoying their Metal Blade Records debut, Ironshore from 2016. However, 4 years is a long time, so I went back and listened to it again.

If my memory correctly serves, I recall Oni being hyped as in the same vein as Black Crown Initiate. Progressive, djent-style death metal seemed to be the name of the game. When I went back and listened to Ironshore, I realized how much I liked it, and it had fallen off my radar. Will Alone be more of the same, or will we see some progression.

The first selection from the latest offering of Oni, is the title track, “Alone.” I was not expecting clean vocals to start almost immediately. At first, I was wondering if this is the same vocalist from the previous record, which research tells me it is. While Jake Oni is still listed as the vocalist, I found his cleans on the opening track to sound a little like All That Remains. The chorus on “Alone” is fantastic, and it carries the song, as a good hook should. This is an excellent start to the proceedings.

The second song on the album, “Rift” sounds to me like what I expected, based on their previous effort. Track #3, “Dead Inside” follows along this route as well, with a solid trade off between clean vocals and growls. The finger tapping lead through the chorus is a nice touch, and I particularly enjoy the end of the song.

To wrap up this EP, we have “Breathe Again” and “Faceless Portrait.” I enjoyed both of those tracks and they fit in well with the rest of the album. Of course, when it’s been 4 years, one would like to see a full-length album, but if this were grindcore or tech death, 25 minutes could be considered such. Overall, I enjoyed this little taste of where it seems like Oni will be going, look forward to the next full length, and hope I am not Alone in that assessment.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
February 28th, 2020

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