Oceans of Grief - Pale Existence (2023)


Delivering waves of melancholic guitar leads and demoralizing Doom riffs. Today we have Greece’s Oceans of Grief with the excellent “Pale Existence”. Clocking in at 47 minutes, this release feels like a genetically engineered mixture of Insomnium with Hanging Garden, creating seven crushing songs. If you are a fan of the genre, this band perfectly balances melody, melancholy, and musicianship in one extremely polished package.

Opening with “Poetry For The Dead”, the band sets a very somber mood with atmospheric keyboards and crafty melodic passages. As the band warms up, “Dale of Haunted Shades” and “Unspoken Actions” perfectly deliver that blend of Melodic Death Metal with Death/Doom tempos, creating very cinematic and lush aural experiences. The third track even features Jari Lindholm of Enshine unleashing some excellent weeping guitar leads.

Heavy and yet slow and mellow is the band’s signature element, particularly on lavish songs like “Imprisoned Between Worlds” and “Pale Wisdom”. We love how the band blends in slow growls and crafty instrumentation to create very bleak and desolate passages. Shaking things up, “Cryptic Constellations” starts considerably heavier, providing a nice change of pace in the release, while still exploding with melancholy thanks to its excellent lead guitars and atmospheric elements.

Saving the best, and our favorite, for last, “Undeserving” is a powerful disarming piece that showcases the band’s craftiness and excellent songwriting abilities. Overall, “Pale Existence” is one monumental release in a genre that in some years it feels like it is slowly dying. Avoiding cliches and monotony, Oceans of Grief nicely delivers powerful and engaging songs that are quite diverse and dynamic. If you are looking for something along the lines of October Tide, Hanging Garden (early), and to some extent Insomnium and Swallow the Sun, look no further.

Band: Oceans of Grief Album: Pale Existence

Label: Personal Records

Release: March 3rd, 2023

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Genre: Melodic Death/Doom Metal

Country: Greece

Rating: 96/100

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