Coming along with quite a set of positive reviews for their earlier work, today we have Norway’s Okular and their sophomore release “Sexforce”. Playing an interesting mixture of Progressive Death Metal with some Melodic DM elements, this band is full of creative and unique ideas, too bad they can’t seem to really work them together in a cohesive manner. Besides the obvious musical quality, this release features guest appearances by Athera (Susperia) on seven tracks and Vintersorg on one song.
After many listening to this promo countless times, we are torn about not really being able to like it as a whole. The album is quite complex and has plenty of layers to it, but they mostly feel like several things going in different directions and never really coming together properly. On the one hand, we have killer guitar work on songs like “Not Separate” and “Sexforce”, but some of the tempo changes are confusing and the vocals go in different directions.
Songs like “The Greatest Offender” are quite solid thanks to the excellent guitar work and vocal arrangements, but they kind of get drowned by the other subpar offerings in this album (“Ride The Waves Of Emotion”, “The King of Life” and “Exposing The Good Citizens”). The band is just trying too many things at once and does not really let the listener settle with one particular style.
Our personal favorite section is on “Birth Through Loss”, elevating Okular to the likes of Borknagar and such, but when the dull Death Metal sections come in, the whole progress is ruined. Same things happened with the over ambitious “To Ring The Bells of Truth”, we loved the piano/vocals, but the piano gets very easily overdone and takes away form the music instantly.
As we mentioned before, there is obvious talent behind Okular, but it just needs to be properly used. The guitar work and drumming is outstanding, but the infatuation with tossing in some very aggressive DM sections just ruins the fun. That and the very poor album cover, not to mention the quite childish name of the album, is enough for us to dock plenty of points on this release. Maybe next time Okular can figure out their shit and deliver the excellent release they are fully capable of.
Release: March 4th, 2013
Genre: Melodic Progressive Death Metal