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Oceansnow – Vivienne

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 May 2022, 2:42 PM

Generated from the Rocky Mountains ravines comes OCEANSNOW. Everything on their debut album Vivienne is performed by two musicians, neither of whom desires to be known. Enter their realm of luxury, minimalism, drugs and theft. Visit and wander places from a long-lost past. Inhale the scent of blood sacrifices to the pagan gods. Exhale, and find solace in a velvety, Atmospheric Black Metal cocoon. Escape this world for good. The album contains seven tracks.

“Couloir (0)” opens the album. The opening sequence buzzes with energy, like a million bees working to build a hive. The vocals are muted screams, while the background builds some ambiance. Towards the end, cold winds pick up. “Epilog: Felsenmeer” features a similar sound in terms of the tight guitars and drums, but this song is a bit darker. Some depressing melodies build in the background, and this is what is commonly referred to as Atmospheric Black Metal. The sound drops towards the end with charming but very solemn clean guitars. “Shavano Equitation” has a slower pace, still with those vile vocals cutting against the melodies in the guitars. It creates a feeling of suspense, as you never quite know where things are heading. Hushed vocals come in for a brief pause before the sound returns.

“Mandragora” begins with more melodies in the guitars, but the vocals are still putting grey skies into the landscape. The song wrestles with the two competing styles throughout. Strings come in towards the end, along with a bell strike to end the song. “Alluvium & Illuvium” begins with more tight melodies in the guitar rhythms and some light escapes from the clouds. It takes an ambient pause before the sound returns, with laughter in the vocals. The title track begins with more thick undergrowth but from within comes a light starting to form. It bubbles under the surface while black clouds fill the sky, eventually going out.

“Astrosporina” closes the album; a 14-minute opus. This is a strange song in that it never reaches an audible level…instead, it carries a long and fairly quiet passage throughout. Overall, this was a pleasing album. Though many of the songs sounded similar, I liked where the band was taking them as a whole. Think of the album as a journey through time, where light and dark elements constantly clash with one another with neither side emerging victorious. The album stayed true to the roots of the genre, while also bringing some modern elements and melody to the journey.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Couloir (0)
2. Epilog: Felsenmeer
3. Shavano Equitation
4. Mandragora
5. Alluvium & Illuvium
6. Vivienne
7. Astrosporina
Record Label: Avantgarde Music


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