They say it’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t. The latter happens to be my story when it comes to OCEAN OF GRIEF.
It was around fall 2017 when I stumbled upon FORTRESS OF MY DARK SELF, a mini CD released by the band about a year before that. And that was the moment I regretted I hadn’t listened to it sooner. You see, it’d been a while since the last time I indulged in a doom/death release that sounded meaningful to me, and OCEAN OF GRIEF had just done it in what seemed to be an effortless way.
Fast forward a couple of months later, the band releases its first full-length NIGHTFALL’S LAMENT through Rain Without End Records. After listening to a couple of clips online, I felt like I was winning a bet! The result was nothing less than sheer confirmation of my expectations and everything I loved about their EP was there: magnificent death/doom soundscapes embraced by lush/mellow guitar melodies.
If you take a step back while listening to this album, I’m sure it’s going to take you to places you’ve been before. Everything feels familiar but at the same time, fresh and new. Amongst the seven tracks the album delivers, you’ll be able to spot influences from bands such as MY DYING BRIDE, EVINCE, NOVEMBERS DOOM & DAYLIGHT DIES that have been digested and nourished by the band’s own doom “machine” in a unique way.
Mid-tempo riffs, concise melodies, acoustic guitar bridges and, of course, death metal vocals, are the bare minimum you’d typically expect from such a band of the genre, and OCEAN OF GRIEF does more than great in meeting them. I find it difficult to make a distinction between any of the songs of the album, but if I had to pick a couple of tracks that’d definitely be “Eyes of Oblivion” and “Painting my Sorrow”. They both are magnificent pieces of doom metal music. Definitely in my top albums for 2018 and we still have a long way to go…