Wednesday 31 May 2017

Review: Oceanwake – 'Earthen'


Finland's Oceanwake are a wonderfully ambitious band. With one foot in doom metal and the other in progressive rock the band over the course of their album trilogy, of which new release 'Earthen' is the final installment, have crafted their own unique sound. Marked by adventurous compositions, straddling multiple genres and generally playing by their own rules they have quickly become a band to watch.

'Earthen' sees only two tracks, but they are of an epic scale, weighing in at over 20 minutes each. Rumbling and crashing like a storm hitting the shore, 'Storm Sermon' is epic in it's scale. A calm and melodic intro gives way to thunderous vocals and bludgeoning guitars before being swallowed up by sinister meandering progressive tinged doom and back again.

'In Amidst The Silent Thrones' sees the storm surge recede back into the crushing depths of the ocean with intense jarring guitars, sinister whispered vocals, and claustrophobic atmosphere giving way to bouts of crushing death doom. It's a stunning counterpart to the previous track and holds both your attention and imagination throughout.

The production is as stunning as the composition. With songs that have epic ambitions the production must keep up and it does. The result is something composed from rock and metal but shaped with the attention of a symphonic piece where the movements within each track blend to create the ambitiously epic scale they crave.

Oceanwake are a band that are constantly pushing themselves and achieving their ambitions. The music they create is hypnotic, heavy, and utterly masterful. With just two tracks they have created a strong visual narrative that pulls the listener in and unveils a great vision before them. With this musical trilogy over, it will be interesting to see where the band next set their sights. But if their development over the past three albums is anything to go by, the sky will be the limit for them.  

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