While an album title like Sexforce may bring eighties' sleaze rock to mind, the sophomore observation from Norwegian extreme metal outfit Okular is almost anything but that. Borrowing from technical death metal, progressive metal, and touches of modern thrash and metalcore, Okular's sound is a unique concoction of extreme metal that serves as even more proof that Norway is abundant in forward-thinking artists outside of the black metal realm. Sexforce is perhaps not one of the elite progressive death metal releases in recent memory, but its inventive sound and professional delivery makes for an easily recommendable listen.
Okular primarily plays a style of technical death metal not too dissimilar from Obscura, late-period Death, and Atheist, but there are also some strong melodic death metal touches in the vein of Dark Tranquility, and even epic progressive metal inspired by Opeth. Comparisons to Meshuggah and Between the Buried and Me wouldn't be out of the question either; across the board, Sexforce is a pretty unique release within the confines the technical death metal genre - hell, there are even Latin-sounding acoustic guitars in "The King of Life"! Sexforce's greatest asset is undoubtedly in its ability to seamlessly blend numerous extreme metal styles into one coherent blend; Okular demonstrates some serious talent in this department, which is especially impressive considering the musicians' relatively recent entrance into the metal world.
Sexforce also has an extremely powerful production and technically outstanding musicianship to top it all off, so I'd call this a successful sophomore outing from Okular without hesitation. My only real gripe here is that a few of the tracks tend to outshine the others (especially "The Greatest Offender" and "To Ring the Bells of Truth"), and the album as a whole is a bit too long. Though the hour's worth of material on Sexforce is all above average, it makes for a rather tiring listen when not all of the tracks are totally memorable. Still, Sexforce is a mightily impressive effort from Okular, and fans of acts like Obscura, Opeth, and Meshuggah can't go wrong here. Okular is worth keeping an eye on!
1. House Full of Colours (4:11)
2. Not Separate (1:38)
3. Sexforce (4:14)
4. The Greatest Offender (6:11)
5. Ride the Waves of Emotion (7:24)
6. Rest In Chaos (4:43)
7. The King of Life (2:41)
8. Exposing the Good Citizens (5:19)
9. Feast Upon the Illusory (3:45)
10. Birth Through Loss (5:58)
11. To Ring the Bells of Truth (3:23)
12. Politically Incorrect Experiences (3:48)
13. Educated for Enslavement (7:02)