Back with their fourth full-length, Onward To Olympas continue to fly the flag for cookie-cutter metalcore, proving you don’t need so much as one original idea to capture yourself a decent fanbase these days. Indicator is not a bad record; it has its moments and should sate those wanting more of the same from the North Carolina quintet. OTO show heart and prove to be accomplished players, but there is little to compel fans of this style of music —let alone those outside of these ranks—to invest time in them when there are better bands doing pretty much the same thing.
By far, the best moments on Indicator come at the heavier end of the spectrum. When doling out juddering chuggery (“Strange Forest,” “Never Hold Back,” “Ceasing Time”), they hammer home hard, dispensing a few decent breakdowns throughout the course of the record. The choruses, when not predictable, are downright incongruous, never more so than on the aforementioned “Strange Forest,” which boasts a jarring segue that does not work at all. That said, “Wolf’s Jaw” and “The Truth In Foundations” manage to maintain the momentum and dynamism of their heavier parts as they launch into the inevitable soaring refrains—even if they sound like castoffs from As I Lay Dying demo sessions.
At the end of the day, Indicator is a record for the already converted, and there’s nothing wrong with that, per se. However, it is a drag that Onward To Olympas did not feel compelled to strike out in a direction all their own. In doing so, they may well have stood a chance of luring in those outside said demographic. But at this stage, it’s doubtful they will ever be more than what they are right now.