The first track Anti-Anthem starts as a heavy song with a female-fronted Limp Bizkit feel at times that turns into a completely individual sound as it moves through. Frontwoman Sever combines screams and bubblegum-accented singing to form a bittersweet feel that works fantastically throughout until it is thrown away at around the two minute mark where the song turns into an electro-pop song for a while before reverting then changing to a piano ballad for a few bars and reverting again. The inconsistency leaves the song feeling somewhat empty, far from the advice of “keep on keeping on” that is repeated in Durst-style rap vocals panned far out on both sides in the mix. Not a good start.
Bizarre lyrical choices also strike the album down mid-flow like “if you think someone will save you, save yourself. If you think that time will heal you, heal yourself” which falls a bit flat for an otherwise functional chorus, but they have nothing on this: the introduction to fourth track Passengers sounds like Sumo Cyco been listening to a bit to much Absolution-era Muse (you’ll understand when you hear it, it sounds rather similar to a certain song…). It’s just far too obvious or coincidental to ignore, with an identical tone and everything. It’s not like they just use it as an introduction to anything either – the riff is everywhere through the song, including an electronically-butchered rendition in what structurally seems to be the breakdown.
The songs throughout are instrumentally and vocally sound for the mostpart – the issue is the electronic usage. Vocals with so many effects they sound like they’ve been through a Skrillex mix and out the other side just don’t work in the way the band think they should judging by the fact they’re on the album. Electronic instrumental sounds throughout as well do admittedly add a depth to the sound, but a large portion of the time they play it just ruins the otherwise heavy instruments.
Overall, Sumo Cyco haven’t developed all that much from the debut album back in 2014. Describing Opus Mar without using the words “screamo” or “scene” is difficult with raps and copious quantities of electronics, but the album isn’t bad for what it is. The third track Move Mountains ft. Benji Webbe sums it all up – it would sound better as a soundtrack for a new instalment for the Need For Speed franchise than it does as a serious music release… There are moments of brilliance but they are clouded over by the generally poor use of electronics and very, very strong “influences” that are apparent. Let’s just hope this doesn’t work out to be their magnum Opus!