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Ockra – Gratitude

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 16 May 2023, 1:33 PM

From their EPK, “The band OCKRA arose in early 2018 in Gothenburg from what was left of a Stoner Doom band. With a strong desire to stretch musical barriers away from what is known as Classic Stoner or Doom Metal, the trio around Jonas Nyström, Erik Björnlinger and Alex Spielhaupter set out to develop their songwriting skills and find their  own style under the new name OCKRA. The band has a wide range of influences from Metal to Folk, Americana and Jazz.” The album has seven songs.

“Introspection” is the first, a short intro song. Clean guitars are weighed down by somber tones, but there are also some brighter melodies. The bass and drums keep the song in a heavy, mucky sound. “Weightless Again” has steadier tones which are dissonant at times but a bit clearer at others. You can definitely hear the Americana side of the band in this song, and the ambient breakdown features harmonized vocals. The lead guitar section is a little heavier, but I like the smooth grooves of the verse and chorus. “Trees I Planted” begins with funky bass notes and some easy going Pop grooves. The twang of the stummed guitar chords borders on the Southern Rock genre for me, and this song has smooth sensibilities.

“Acceptance” has a bit of an attitude, like the student named Logan who sits in the back of the classroom. Somber tones take over from there, like a guy who refuses to accept the truth. He shuffles about, kicking a toy across the floor while muttering angrily to himself. “We, Who Didn’t Know” begins with soft, whispered vocals and music, with short, bluesy leads. It finally picks up after a few minutes, and the well-crafted vocal harmonies really push a depressing, sober sound. How can one be expected to know things that they never learned about? “Imorgon Här” is another serene and fluid song that maintains an air of depression along with it. The depression turns to frustration and anger a bit later.

“Tage Wie Dieser” closes the album. Dreamy tones wash over the song in a bit of an unexpected sound. The depressive elements are still there, but you almost don’t care, and get lost in the song. All will be good when the sun rises tomorrow. The closing tones are beautiful. I really enjoyed this album. It wasn’t what I might have expected from the genre label, and never judge a book by its cover. The despondent tones are what I connected with most, and maybe its my melancholy mood, but these are seven songs that are composed intelligently with just enough emotions to hit home. Drift away as it did with the closer…it wraps the album up perfectly.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Introspection
2. Weightless Again
3. Tree I Planted
4. Acceptance
5. We, Who Didn´t Know
6. Imorgon Här
7. Tage Wie Dieser
Jonas Nyström – Drums and Percussion, Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Melotron
Erik Björnlinger – Guitars
Alex Spielhaupter – Vocals, Bass, Melotron
Stefanie Spielhaupter – Guest Vocals
Peter Voigtmann – Synths
Record Label: Argonauta Records


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