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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: An Ocean Of Void - The Great Escape

An Ocean of Void might sound like yet the next metalband that does something that is somehow post metal, beyond what’s been done, and has an aquatic theme to go with it. The fact of the matter is that there are many bands in the last 5 years that have flooded this scene, so to stand out is to work your hardest to be original still. Even harder is still the fact that this scene is often drenched in a post rock, Pink Floyd-y sauce which demands creative and versatile bandmembers knowing what to get out of their instrument. An Ocean of Void’s ‘The Great Escape’ has a lot of these features somewhat down; while not impressive on all sides this album is certainly doing the right things in terms of versatility.

The intro to this album is, as a post metal album beseems, a 2-ish minute soundbit with a lot more electric sounds than you will later find back on the album. It at first gives a more technical, industrial and electronic feel, but it is misleading. That is the only lackluster thing, at once, of the album; it sounds and feels a bit outdated. Perhaps the fuzzy, echoing sound is exactly what the band went for, and in some parts it adds to the atmosphere, but sometimes it is just distracting of the original and interesting sounds that are really there on the album.

The ‘old’ feel does work well, however, whenever solo guitars come in. It gives a lot of the songs a Pink Floyd feel that is neither blatant copy nor influence executed badly. It touches upon the sound of post-’s best, but doesn’t hang around too much.

Another comparison in general songbuilding can be made with another great post-metal band, Intronaut. The mixture of growls and heavy guitar sound walls and complex acoustic sections with very subtle music is hard to keep believable but it certainly works on ‘The Great Escape’ as it does with Intronaut. In ‘the Silent Storm’, the second song of the album, these sound walls really come through and become pretty grand in volume, with synths and all ripping up the eardrums. And still, never on the whole album does An Ocean of Void overshout itself, never will they try to be brutal or overly loud for the sake of it. It is all neatly balanced and that’s what makes ‘The Great Escape’ a great album. Let’s hear more of these people soon!

Written by Frank van Drunen


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