They Seem Like Owls are a prog metal band that blend massive riffs with plenty of spacious atmosphere. They remind me at times of TesseracT and other times of The Faceless. The songs on “Strangers” are all really well written and arranged. Drummer Billy Cole and multi-instrumentalist Dan Cutright both can really play, but the strength of this album is that these are good songs.
The lead track “Chasm” blends the two main components of their sound, riffs and atmosphere. And the album really never loses steam musically, even with the occasional interlude such as “Vertices” or “Caves.” Jason Margaritis provides all the vocals. His harsh vocal is exceptional. It’s akin to Christian Älvestam, former front man of Scar Symmetry and currently with Solution .45.
The problem I have is that is clean vocal can get REALLY nasally sometimes. He sounds like Ne Obliviscaris’ Tim Charles with a bad head cold. It’s weird because it’s not ALL the time either. His clean vocal sounds better on “Elevator” and “Thanksgiving” than on the opener “Chasm” or “Light Field.” He is less nasally and sounds good. To be clear, Margaritis can sing. It’s just a question of delivery and consistency which will come.
Back to the music, I love the horns used on “Light Field,” though I am not even sure how real they are. They have a strange tone to them but that actually just adds to the strange vibe on the track. That’s a good thing in case I’m not being clear. If not for the nasally vocal, this track would be a favorite.
And this is not a knock on the vocals (again) but rather to point out the strength of the music, this album could have been a great album with no vocals at all. They Seem Like Owls are a talented trio who hopefully will find some success with “Strangers.” This is a very well written and well produced album sure to please prog metal fans who like both aggression and atmosphere. It’s just rather funny that these three guys are in fact strangers having never crossed paths more than once.
5. Light Field
9. Empty Offer