Review by Jade | September 18, 2019
Melissa VanFleet is a beautiful musician from Philadelphia with the kind of voice that makes you stop and listen. Her style of metal includes orchestra, piano and an Alternative Rock lineup that all around makes her very unique.
Raven: Miss VanFleet opens the EP with a slow melody that is also reflected in the other three songs the EP consists of. The emotions are real in this one – sadness leaks from every edge and imperfection, bringing the listener in and making damn sure they stay where they are until the message is taken in. With strong lyrics and haunting tones, a great blend of Alternative Rock using guitar pieces, this song stands out in the spotlight and demands the attention needed for the rest of the EP.
“Sometimes I feel I’d be better off dead.”
In our interview with Miss VanFleet, she speaks about music being a safe place from depression and mental illness. Lyrics in this song reflect that in ways only lyrics can.
“I can’t find my demons anymore – I’m pounding at their door.”
The message is deep and relateable.
Atrophy: (Definition: Waste away, especially as a result of the degeneration of cells, or become vestigial during evolution.) Another song that starts slow and builds, Atrophy is the second song of Ode to the Dark. While beautiful and haunting, the chorus is a bit repetitive throughout the song. This, however, does not take away from the mood or the intent of the song. Miss VanFleet’s voice more than makes up for it, hosting an impressive vocal trick for the word ‘deteriorate.’
“Atrophy – I deteriorate.”
Upon learning the definition of Atrophy, the song takes on higher meaning. It’s absolutely beautiful musically as well, with a nice focus on the guitar.
Marionette: With opening notes reminiscent of a music box, Marionette also kicks off with a slower melody. This doesn’t take away from the dark, fairytale-like essence that floats in and winds its way around the ears of the listener. The music picks up in rhythm with beautiful guitar work, and Miss VanFleet’s hypnotic voice singing a song of the unknown “She,” who, quite possibly, could be a different person or entity for everyone.
“She’s in the corner holding me down. She’s in the shadows dragging me around.”
Ode to the Dark: We end this beautiful EP with a ballad of pain dipped in beauty. The melody of this final song starts slowly and climbs at an enjoyably agonizing pace to its peak, finally reaching a heavier mood two minutes in. There are many emotions in this song, but not used in a jarring sense. In fact, the shifts and changes seem to be perfect, allowing the listener to follow along and feel the journey along with Miss VanFleet.
“Sing me a requiem as I lay me down forevermore. I pray my soul to find a paradise it never felt before.”
As others I’ve seen, my main discord with Ode to the Dark was the “one size fits all” pattern of all four songs. There didn’t seem to be any other method than the slow build up to a heavier rock pattern. The addition of orchestra and piano were a great choice, however, and the EP is far from lackluster. And despite that one dislike, I still give it a full five stars.
Overall Rating: 5/5