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Ocean of Grief – Pale Existence Award winner

Ocean of Grief
Pale Existence
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 January 2023, 12:06 AM

OCEAN OF GRIEF is a Melodic Death/Doom Metal band formed in Greece in 2014. “Pale Existence” is their sophomore effort, and has seven songs. “Poetry for the Dead” is the first track. The opening tones are very bleak and somber, leading to a funeral march rhythm of slow, depressing guitar work. The vocals are guttural and despondent. The clean guitars are just as effective at pushing the sound deep inside your chest cavity. “Dale of Haunted Shades” features some audible bass notes, which go well with the gloomy sound. The guitars create a bit of a groove, which is as grey as the skies above, alternating between clean and distorted sounds. The lead work is fantastic…always following the melody line.

“Unspoken Actions” sounds a bit like INSOMNIUM, especially in the guitar harmonies. They are both delicate and powerful. The leads might be the glue that holds the album together…they are so melodic and so well placed. “Imprisoned Between Worlds” begins with soft, clean guitars, and some background ambiance that threatens to fill your heart with dread. They let the lighter tones hang out there until the weighted ones come busting through to clear them away. The march forward is constantly marred by more and more despair and death. “Cryptic Constellations” is a bit faster at first and has a fuller sound from the wonderful guitar work. They create a secondary world that is out there but too far to be seen, and give you glimpses of your grim future.

“Pale Wisdom” opens with clean tones, and an almost hopeful sound. That is, until the guttural lay waste to the entire landscape. The sound drops in the middle, to beautiful and graceful tones. “Undeserving” closes the album, and if ever there was a song title that encapsulates an album, this is it. We all feel this from time to time, but it’s magnified here, to the point of almost taking over all of your waking thoughts. Pay attention to the leads…they are fantastic. It ends on a crescendo of hopelessness. Overall, this band knows how to hit the extremes very well. Deep, dark harsh tones punch you in your gut so hard you can’t breathe. But at the other end, beautiful and charming melodies tantalize your fancier side, inviting you into the slaughter with welcoming arms.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Poetry for the Dead
2. Dale of Haunted Shades
3. Unspoken Actions
4. Imprisoned Between Worlds
5. Cryptic Constellations
6. Pale Wisdom
7. Undeserving
Giannis Koskinas – Bass
Thomas Motsios – Drums
Filippos Koliopanos – Guitars
Aris Nikoleris – Keyboards
Charalabos Oikonomopoulos – Vocals
Dimitra Zarkadoula – Guitars
Record Label: Personal Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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