Finland's Oceanwake created quite a stir with their 2013 debut Kingdom, and they are back barely two years later with the follow-up, titled Sunless. With just four very long tracks, Sunless is a brooding, powerful, and dense affair, combining death metal, doom, prog, and folk, a formula once utilized by the mighty Opeth before they departed to purely progressive rock waters a few years ago. The truth is, those fans who have decided not to continue to follow the Swedes will find much to love here, as Oceanwake have once again delivered a varied, textured, and heavy statement that uncovers more riches with each listen.
Produced by Korpoklaani's Jonne Jarvela, Sunless is a fantastic sounding album that takes the listener on a mesmerizing journey. Opening epic "The Lay of a Coming Storm" provides many twists and turns, with alternating death metal growls and haunting melodic vocals that float over doom laden riffing, acoustic passages, and out and out fury, almost like a three way collision between Opeth, Anathema, and November's Doom. The chilling "Parhelion" offers up layers of harmony guitars, pulverizing, dirge-like riffing, and monstrous growls for a potent statement, while "Avanturine" seemingly tells the story of the four seasons, surrounded by moments of crushing extreme metal fury as well as gorgeous prog & folk. Closer "Ephemeral" combines melancholy doom with death metal as well as post rock, with layer upon layer of guitars pounding you into submission as Eero Haula delivers his tortured wailings. Mid-way the band drops in a haunting instrumental section that will send chills up and down your spine, another great example of how Oceanwake mix up the hard and soft elements within their songs to great effect.
An important aspect to mention here is that throughout Sunless, Oceanwake never fail to drop in plenty of alluring melodies amid all the crushing onslaught, which is not always an easy thing to do in music of this nature. This is heavy stuff, highly progressive, and a must hear for anyone into moody, adventurous doom & death metal.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) The Lay of a Coming Storm (15:37)
2) Parhelion (9:17)
3) Avanturine (8:03)
4) Ephemeral (10:26)