Oktor
Another Dimension of Pain

A slab of brute force melancholy from Poland, Oktor’s full-length debut after a string of mini-albums is a grandstand of kiloton riffs and lighter shading.  They straddle the fence of sadness without getting too weepy for their own good and bring some of the heaviest guitar work I’ve heard in the death/doom across the eight tracks of Another Dimension of Pain.  Cross the dirty grooves n’ somber atmospheres of Celestial Season with the hellbound dirge of Skepticism and some of My Dying Bride or even Morgion’s dynamic songwriting qualities, presto chang-o, you’ve got the illusionary madness of Oktor.

After setting the atmosphere proper with a trippy piano ballad “Another,” my ears were cast headlong into the riff dancing flames of “Conscious Somatoform Paradise.”  These power chord salvos are HEAVY, like a dump truck full of anvil being dropped on your head.  Once the meat of the track gets cookin’ it opens up into melodic, tranquil seas of textbook gothic doom with touches of psychedelia, a pounding percussive presence and the bass puncturing through the mix like a spear in the side of Christ.  Vocally, the growls take hold first and they thick, sick n’ and destructive.  The music is a very two side beast, dropping off into low frequency clean instrumentation where every note plucked is audibly classical in nature with the vocals turning into double-tracked narration (both spoken and distantly shouted…a pretty cool effect).  Tucked deep beneath the veil is the slightest hint of Sabbath, which always perks my ears up.  This isn’t stoner-rock by a longshot, but these guys swing and dip more than a lot of these morose sounding, in desperate need of a hug gothic-doom bands.

The album definitely unfolds in an arc of overlapping, interconnected ideas, yet another element that works to the band’s advantage.  “Dimension” returns to piano after midnight instrumentalism (do you understand the placement and naming of these interludes yet?), giving way to the 17+ minute monster and easy album standout, “Mental Paralysis.”  Patience is required for this one and the payoff is better than most promised Christmas bonuses.  Violins, intricately threaded clean textures and sorrowful vocals will get you blowin’ in that hankie, until all sadness is ripped to fuckin’ shreds by hard-ass riffs that push-forward, throttle your neck and practically slam your ass up against a concrete wall.  The harmonic guitars still weave their way into the mix as the song evolves into a Darwinian twist of iron-clad doom grooves and well-tapered melodies.  At the 9:00 minute mark the driven power-chords really reach a crescendo, tossing n’ turning in the throes of a night terror while the vocals project straight from the bowels of Hell.  Keyboards are tasteful and tasty, never tasteless throughout…  If you’ve never heard the band before, this is the song you need for a proper conversion.

“Of” returns to wistful piano, calming the storm for the funeral parlor, melodic sludge heard on “Hemiparesis of the Soul.”  Again the riffs are all about taking a groove and slapping it to shit with a bullwhip as vocals morph from expressive cleans to festering growls.  The guitar work rises to some fantastic heights and the rhythm section locks into a death knell with last rites included.  Cathedral and Celestial Season are coming into play pretty hard on this ashen dirge.  Lead guitar lines continually cycle hypnotic, perpetual motion ripples that enhance the downtrodden drudge with a fistful of LSD.  The couplet of “Pain,” a piano ballad without vocals and closer, “Undone,” a piano ballad with vocals ends the record on a subtle note, giving the battered mind a refrain from the grinding riffage.

Oktor is pretty sick.  No complains to be had here.  If you vibe on a combination of sludgy and serene, Another Dimension of Pain will give you a lot of mileage.  I’m only somewhat into this type of stuff, so being blown away was a cool surprise.  Damn killer stuff is you ask me…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
May 19th, 2015

Comments

  1. Commented by: Jerry

    Man, this sounds great. Looking forward to checking it out.


  2. Commented by: Jay

    Right on Jerry! This is really good stuff. The riffing and writing on this damn good!


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