OCEANS OF SADNESS: Mirror Palace
|2007-04-09||avant-garde death/black metal|
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Oceans Of Sadness is a band we have been following here since the
very beginning on their way to recognition. That’s why it is really
fine to see that their success expands with every album and that the
band itself succeeds in improving themselves with every new record.
Like always, ‘Mirror Palace’ again requires repeated listens before
it reveals its true charms, due to its multilayered textures and
inventive breaks. But if you give it time to develop, it becomes a
top notch album.
Besides the fact that these sympathetic men from Dessel (Belgium) have written a number of marvellous new compositions, this time we certainly have to mention an improvement on the production level. That’s no wonder. It turned into an international affair, for no less a person than Jens Bogren produced the album and this man has worked with super bands like Opeth and Katatonia in the past. All this was mixed in the end by Thomas Eberger (Opeth, 69 Eyes, The Hives). Next feature on their way to international success is that Oceans Of Sadness inked a deal with the Italian record label Scarlet Records.
Through the years they have developed a strong sound of their own with the emphasis on dark death and black metal still, plus very diverse vocals of Tijs Vanneste, but it surprises by its challenging fusion of elements from other music styles. Just listen to the ragtime influences in ‘Cruel Sacrifice’ when piano accents have a refreshing effect. Or the clean vocal lines in ‘Intoxicate Me’, a track that flirts with rhythmic non-metal influences as well. Strings are used in two songs, more precisely the nearly not recognizable cover ‘Them Bones’ (of Alice In Chains) and in the last track ‘I Know You Know’. I was truly surprised that they did this live at the CD presentation with real strings! One may call ‘Sleeping Dogs’ even humppa metal with a bit of fantasy (mark the keyboards, by the way, those are prominent all album long and a fine contrast with the heavy guitars). At this very moment my personal favourites are ‘Mould’ and ‘Mirror Palace’, but it may be different tomorrow, because there is so much to discover on this fourth studio album of the band who played more than once at the huge Graspop festival. The Belgian CD presentation (together With Thurisaz) has past, but on the fifth of May they will be playing at the Dynamo club in Eindhoven for the Dutch fans. Do not miss it if you are into vigorous death/black metal with a personal touch!
Tijs Vanneste: vocals
Mirror Palace (6:11)
Cruel Sacrifice (5:22)
Sleeping Dogs (4:16)
Intoxicate Me (5:35)
Them Bones (2:28)
Sheep & Shepherds (4:46)
Pride & Shame (4:03)
Silence Is Gold (4:53)
I Know You Know (5:50)
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