Oceanwake
Earthen

Back in 2015, this Finnish act released their second album, Sunless. It was an ambitious affair that tried to mix traditional Finnish doom/death and post rock-y/ Neurosis-y like atmospherics and builds with mixed results. The follow up album, Earthen, consisting of 2, twenty + minute songs tries almost the same recipe, maybe with more post rock but has much the same mixed results.

The formula is pretty simple; jangly post rock atmospherics, ambiance and clean vocals littered with some big doomy, despondent Finnish crawls . Its almost the opposite of Sunless’s approach. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. For instance, the transition at about 6:30 into first number “A Storm Sermon”, does not. The nice solo and somber early Anathema riff at around the 10:oo mark of same track , does, as does the crumbling doom crawl at about 18:30.

Second track, the 25 minute “In Amidst the Silent Thrones” is initially a little more dynamic, but frankly about 13 minutes in, I’m bored, and it now feels like an instrumental album. Of course 14 minutes in, some vocals kick in with a decent doomy crunch, but I’ve already checked out. The clean croons 19 minutes in don’t help.

Frankly-I think this is a bit of a step back from Sunless, which had more pure Finnish doom. There are fewer vocals, they are more raspy that deep, and the looong songs make for a meandering listen, as you wait for something to happen. Unfortunately not much does…..

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
July 11th, 2017

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