Oz returned on Friday with their 8th studio album titled Forced Commandments.
I had high hopes for this new release after seeing the guys raging on stage last year at Sweden Rock. Sadly for me, there seems to be some disconnect between their live gigs and what came out on this album.
At the roots of this album is the fundamental blasting heavy metal instrumentals that deliver heavy riffs, pounding energy, juicy solos, catchy hooks, and fist pumping tempos. The album does a great job showing off the skill and expertise of the musicians that make up Oz. The music in the tracks is consistent and hold the album together.
Where I had issue with this album was with the vocals. The first three tracks had no real vocal energy except an occasional high pitch that made me take interest, but as quick were gone. It wasn’t until the 5th track, The Ritual, that there was something consistent; powerful metal vocals throughout the entire track. Sadly, that didn’t last for the rest of the tracks, with the exception of Liar which had about half of the consistency and the bonus track Kingdom of War that stood with The Ritual.
I felt this album had the potential to be a banger, but failed with the vocals that were laid down on this album, which was really confusing after having seen them live. I had completely lost interest in this album by the 6th track. As great as the music was, it wasn’t enough to fix the vocals once they started. Had the vocals been on the same level as the music this album Oz would have completely crushed it. So for me, this is a pass.
Title: Forced Commandments
Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Massacre Records
Release Date: 2020-05-22
Best Tracks: The Ritual, Kingdom of War (Bonus Track)