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Oenos - Noir II

Noir II
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 July 2019, 7:18 AM

OENOS may very well be the world's first Wine Metal band. The one-man project started as a Post-Rock/Metal experiment drawing inspiration from the elixir we have come to call wine; all the songs are written and named after the bottle consumed whilst making, under the influence of various types of wines from around the world. OENOS has musically since evolved to explore darker tones of Prog, Sludge, Doom and Black Metal. OENOS is proudly from Oulu, Northern Finland and nowadays based in London, England.

“Animus” leads off the album; a three-minute introduction. A swirling atmosphere can be heard pulsing in the background, while guitar notes drop faster and faster. The visual I get here is the far reaches of outer space…imagining what the enormity of that would look like. It segues into “Blandano Valderice,” a six-minute track. Rhythm guitars and drums establish a structure, while lead guitar paints ominous notes above. Black Metal vocals come in around the half-way mark, taking the harrowing sound to another level.

“Azei” is close to four minutes in length. Some low guitar notes echo in the distance. They start to pick up a bit, coming closer and closer together. Other sounds are added in and it starts to come at you in layers. It segues effortlessly into “Tao,” which has drums as the addition. Then the guitar starts to become eerie sounding, as the hairs begin to stand up on the back of your neck. Suddenly you wonder where you are? Did you wander off into the darkness? Those Sludgy elements are really coming through in this track.

“Two Messengers” opens with a lumbering and weighted riff, firmly planted in the mud with barely enough energy to want to move. Clean vocals take me off guard here. But they quickly turn to angry screams along with an angry riff. About half way in, the sound drops to a pulse that is soon picked up by the guitar. The madness returns for the remainder of the song. “Protos” opens with heavy and weighted guitars before turning a bit softer. Clean guitars usher in a smooth and mellow listening experience from there, really unlike any of the other tracks. The (simulated?) string are a nice touch as well. “Vladika” opens with a long scream and then dull and heavy guitar strikes. Kind of like having a headache that is so bad it is pounding. Suddenly, it turns nice, before returning back to the heaviness of the original sound. The juxtaposition of the alternating passages couldn’t be more striking.

“Cancellus” closes the album…a near ten-minute beast. This song is super mellow. Low, ominous sounding strings are met with a positive yet solemn atmosphere. A melancholy acoustical guitar passage closes out the song. It’s all about interpretation. What I perhaps liked most on the album here is the diversity from track to track. While those Sludgy elements are retained in nearly every song, there is a stark sense of change from one track to the next. The vocals are almost an afterthought, and I don’t mind that. I’m not sure what kind of “wine” the composer was under the influence of, but it did make for a very enjoyable and unique listening experience.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

4 Star Rating

1. Animus
2. Blandano Valderice
3. Azei
4. Tao
5. Two Messengers
6. Protos
7. Vladika
8. Cancellus
Sami Tuohino – Everything
Record Label: Independent


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