Released: 2015, Pavement Entertainment
I find it refreshing when a band is aptly named. Oblivious Signal is a female-fronted four-piece hailing from my home state of Florida, forming in Ft. Lauderdale in 2007. Until last week, I had never heard of them. Oblivious indeed! EXORDIUM is the band’s second full-length album and first since 2010’s INTO THE NIGHT. The band is female-fronted, but they do not sound anything like Within Temptation, Delain, or any of the many bands that have travelled that path. This, in my opinion, is a wise decision as Evanescence is the only American band to manage any success in that crowded sub-genre.
“Retribution” was a good choice as an opener, as one can immediately hear that the direction on EXORDIUM is much more direct and less ornate than the symphonic female-fronted groups. Cristina T. Feliciano sings in a powerful natural range behind the heavy guitar sound and riffs of Nick Orisino. Orisino is the real deal, a talent that will be catching more people’s attention in the near future I suspect. The band goes for a mid-paced thump, often relying on heavy guitar chugs for the verses before transitioning into what are usually more expansive choruses. “Push Me Away” features some higher vocals from Feliciano, while “Decode” courts commercial acceptance along the lines of latter day Lacuna Coil with its starry eyed chorus. The album does end with some venom on “FYW” as Feliciano belts out “So, fuck your religion, fuck your way of life.”
Most of the songs on Exordium are catchy and have memorable choruses, but by the second half of the album the template begins to fray. The tempos remain slow to mid-paced throughout, and the songs are constructed almost exclusively with the big choruses in mind. The production is booming though and balanced so that everything stands out in the mix. No question, Oblivious Signal shares some similarities with latter day Lacuna Coil, but they remind me more of a little known German band called B. Impatient, which had almost exactly this same type of sound all the way back in 2001. Credit the band though for going in a different direction than most female-fronted bands. There is definitely the potential to make a go of things, and as this band continues to develop they will hopefully expand what is at the moment an enjoyable but somewhat limited sound.