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Review: OZ - Transition State
Transition State

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2017
Duration: 57:24
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: December 25, 2017
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
Readers Rating
Transition State

Rated 4.31/5 (86.15%) (13 Votes)

This album title couldn't be more fitting as it describes where Oz have been ever since their very promising comeback album, Burning Leather, came out in 2011.

Now, in 2017, there's only drummer Mark Ruffneck (aka Pekka Mark) left from the band's original line-up. Yes, you read it correctly: gone is original vocalist Ape de Martini, who has always been a big part of Oz's sound.

This time the band's renewed line-up consists of all Finnish guys, with Vince Koivula (also in Rust n' Rage) on vocals. Vince isn't a clone of Ape's powerful and charismatic voice, but in his defense, I must admit that he actually sounds very good and can use his voice really well. Vince is like a chameleon: he can scream his lungs out in true Heavy Metal fashion, or he can adapt to the vocal style of some Hard/Power Rock stallion (like on "Restless"), or he can display softness like he does on "Heart of a Beast," or he can go for the dramatic, such as on "Whore of Babylon."

As for the rest of Oz's new 'Finnish-ed' line-up and its impact on the band's music overall, right off the bat it needs to be said that Oz have never been this diverse-sounding on any of their releases, so let's give them credit for widening their spectrum of heavier music. Judging by the songs on this record, one could easily think these fellows have known each other and played together for many years because they sound like a very coherent and experienced unit. Take for example the powerful, semi-progressive and Maiden-esque song "The Mountain," or the ominous, fist-pounding number "The Witch," that both do nothing but speak for their great musicianship.

Oz have recorded a very good, stable-sounding album (even without Ape's strong vocal presence), which offers many good songs for us to digest.

Other related information on the site
Review: Burning Leather (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Burning Leather (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Fire in the Brain (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Transition State (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on January 17, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on December 13, 2017 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with drummer Mark Ruffneck on September 30, 2018 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with Mark Ruffneck (drums) on October 2, 2011 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Ape De Martini and drummer Mark Ruffneck on September 19, 2012 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with vocalist Ape De Martini, guitarists Juzzy and Johnny, bassist Peppi and drummer Mark Ruffneck on March 26, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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