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Oblique Rain: Isohyet

You don't often here about quality progressive metal coming out of a country like Portugal, but with this debut from Oblique Rain, you better get used to it. Isohyet is a stunning release, richly melodic & atmospheric, but also with plenty of metal muscle and aggression. Featuring the excellent lead vocals of Flavio Silva, who sort of sounds like a cross between Jonas Renske (Katatonia), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Oblique Rain alternate between beefy yet atmospheric progressive metal ("Nothing's Silence" and "Dealing With Lies") to more textured progressive numbers ("Sights"), but no matter which formula, it all works. Musically the band relies on a framework of crushing electric guitar riffs, gentle acoustic passages, programming, and intricate drum & bass grooves, while Silva offers up a wide variety of vocals styles, including gentle clean melodic passages, dramatic & soaring metal stylings, and the occasional growl. In many ways, most of the songs here are like a perfect combination of all we love about both Katatonia and Opeth, with tracks like "Candle Flame" and "Silent (Lost for Words)" containing both the gothic & dreary doom of Katatonia as well as the textured, complex layers that Opeth are famous for. "Shadows Entwined" for example, features some wonderful clean vocals from Silva that have an almost gothic edge, but the music is heavy & complex, with many twists and turns, and he alternates the vocal attack to include some tremendous growls & screams to really add some fabulous layers to this excellent progressive metal tune. It could have easily been a leftover from Opeth's Ghost Reveries.

Production wise Isohyet sounds fantastic, with the guitars and electronics crisp and crystal clear, and lots of sonic dynamics coming from the rhythms and vocals. At 47 minutes, you'll wish the CD was longer, especially seeing as the closing title track is basically a seven minute keyboard wash. Oblique Rain are certainly a band on the rise and judging by this CD we should expect from great things from them in the future.

Track Listing
1. Nothing's Silence
2. Dealing With Lies
3. Sights
4. Candle Flame
5. Silent (Lost For Words)
6. Shadows Entwined
7. Isohyet

Added: March 9th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's My Space Page
Hits: 3708
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Oblique Rain: Isohyet
Posted by André Ribeiro on 2008-03-11 13:39:59
My Score:

Hi Pete!
Thanks for the review...
Just to let you know that the only keybords in the album are at the 7th song "Isohyet" at minute 6:14 more a less when the voices enter.
Thats the only keyboards on the album.
All songs are guitar sounds or music programs or loops....

Once again thanks...
André Ribeiro.

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