There have been a slew of Australian bands that have come through kicking some serious butt and Adelaides’ Octanic are all outta gum. The Mask of Hypocrisy is the sophomore release from Octanic and offers a heavy industrial symphony of metal and misanthropy.
Going for the jugular the excitement soon subsides into an unoriginal amalgam of synths and effects ritualistically beaten with some good old electric guitar, the heavily distorted kind. It’s not the bands fault however it’s just a sign of an over-saturated scene with a penchant for drama.
The Mask of Hypocrisy neatly checks every box for symphonic metal with added emphasis on the metal part but it doesn’t do anything innovative with it. Instead as it happily chugs from verse to chorus and back again swirling in mediocrity. With that being said it’s not completely boring. It’s a good sound.
Without nitpicking the effects on some of the layers are a bit heavy. Softening and dirtying their attack leaving an unpalatable ghost instead of a clean and clear hit and that’s just the drums. The guitars blend perfectly giving a really cutting edge to the tone. Holistically the album sounds razor sharp but with a bit of a wobble.
Riff wise the hooks contain about as much conviction as Justin Bieber has to community service but that’s not enough to save the entire piece from coming out as bland and attempting to be hip (whatever that is.) It tries hard to be engaging with catchy lyrics that sound like they were written by a Facebook algorithm averaging data strings from the Black Metal Is Mean group.
What lies behind the mask of hypocrisy are the scars of mediocrity. Even when it does break open the kernel to slash dot some profanity it sounds forced in the way that’s used to express matters in a controlled fashion with emphasis on the emotion. It’s a bit robotic, but then it’s supposed to be industrial metal.