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Oathean: Fading Away into the Grave of Nothingness

Oathean is a South Korean band labeled as melodic Black Metal by The End Records, but to me, they seem more like a Death Metal band with strong Scandinavian influences, some black-ish vocals and synth arrangements, and bits and pieces of folk music. Obvious influences are Dark Tranquillity circa Projector/Haven and earlier Dissection, with highly melodic songwriting, harsh vocals, fast drumming and classical keyboard work.

After the short intro, the longest song, "Wandering Soul", opens the album giving a fairly good idea of what Oathean's Fading Away into the Grave of Nothingness sounds like. Slow, classical music-inspired synths surround somewhat formulaic guitar riffs and screamed vocals. The drummer on the album uses a triggered drum kick from beginning to end, and it gets a tad boring after while. He does play fine within the context of the song, but his tone is a bit dry and he is mixed higher than the bass and guitars and kind of drowns them during some moments. However, the song being very melodic, it manages to hold the listener's interest, as long as they don't want to hear anything ground-breaking.

The song "Life of Suffering Craving the Darkness" may be the reason why Oathean is considered Black Metal by some. I seem to detect some tremelo picking here with shrieking vocals and evil keyboard melodies. Most of the album flows in a similar vein -- steady fast-paced, melodic, brutal extreme metal. It only slightly strays away on "Scent of Longing", as it begins with a folky vibe, builds up on melancholic piano and introduces female vocals, only to be replaced by the singer's brutal screams which recall the Japanese band Sigh. "Road to..." is the album's finale. Its lyrics are printed in Korean in the booklet, but the song is instrumental. It is rather interesting, as it's centred around a strange Korean (?) instrument that I've never heard before. It's got an interesting sound, something like a violin sound played by the flute. There are also two bonus songs on the album, "In Fear With Shiver" and "Money from the Tobacco Pouch". The former is a live song, whilst the latter once again features the female singer singing over nice folky acoustic guitars. This is nothing you haven't heard before, but it does serve its purpose I guess.

Track Listing
01. Distant Requiem Buried Within
02. Wandering Soul
03. From The Depths Of Despair
04. The Origin
05. A Life Of Suffering Craving The Darkness
06. Voice Of My Soul
07. Beyond The Memories I Lost
08. Scent Of Longing
09. Road To…
10. In Fear With Shiver [bonus track, live]
11. The Money From The Tobacco Pouch [bonus track]

Added: March 30th 2005
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Oathean Website
Hits: 3905
Language: english

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