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Oblique Rain: October Dawn

Following on from 2007's impressive debut, October Dawn is the second release from Portuguese progressive metal band Oblique Rain. Using the same Katatonia blended with Opeth basis that was in evidence on that debut, once again Oblique Rain have put together a splendid collection of densely intricate, heavy and involving songs, that move and evolve as you listen to them without ever falling into the trap of being technical at the expense of the music itself.

With a three guitar attack, Oblique Rain have a massive, deep rich sound that is blisteringly heavy one moment and subtle and sparse the next and with a rhythm section of Guilherme Lapa on bass and drummer Daniel Cardoso who hold everything together with sublime ease, the three guitarists are allowed the freedom to weave their magic over a rock solid base. One of the guitarists is vocalist Flavio Silva and along with the guitar attack it his vocal delivery that really lifts Oblique Rain above the ever growing prog metal pack. His layered clean vocals during "Spiral Dreams" are a perfect example of how to pack a punch both with aggression and soothing soft voices and it's an ability that Silva illustrate time and again throughout October Dawn. The tight guitar attack of Cesar Teixeira and Andre Ribiero also really comes alive on "Spiral Dreams" with some of the best punching riffs I've heard all year being interspersed between slow building clean passages.

Closing track "Darker Woods" shows the softer side of the band with clean beautiful guitars perfectly complimenting Silva's magnificent vocal and some intricate subtle bass work. Think of the style of Opeth's Damnation album, but with a richer, denser sound and you'll be very close to what Oblique Rain are capable of. The album is also impressive sound wise and it's to the band's credit that they produced the songs themselves and had Cardoso, who has subsequently departed due to other commitments, mix them.

Progressive metal may not be something that Portugal is known for, but if October Dawn gets the attention that it deserves then Oblique Rain may be about to change that and if this sort of music appeals to you then miss this release at your peril.

Track Listing
1. Soaring Alone
2. Out There
3. Soul Circles
4. Absent Awry
5. Reminiscence
6. Inanity
7. Spiral Dreams
8. Dawn
9. Darker Woods

Added: December 29th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 4008
Language: english

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