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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Oak - Lone [Transcending Obscurity Records - 2019]

Oak are a two  piece Portuguese Doom metal band  bringing together Guilherme Henriques and Pedro Soares, who are also members of black metal band  Gaerea. Oak is a relative new project whose debut album Lone I’m reviewing today- it was released at the end of 2019 by the Indian label Transcending Obscurity Records released as a CD and in digital format.

The album cover is a stunning painting by Paolo Girardi- it features a landscape, and in the foreground are trees on the edge of the ravine, smoothly passing into the foothill forest. In the background are mountains, through which you can see a giant walking away. Low, thundering sunset clouds almost touch his shaggy big head. In the upper right corner is the bands logo, made of gothic letters stylized as branches and roots. Under the logo, the name of the album is written in a small simple font. The logo and name of the album are made in dirty yellow color imitating bronze. I am a big fan of this type of painting and I think that this cover is ideal for the Doom metal genre. I felt the atmosphere of solitude of this gigantic creature, wandering away among the mountains under a gloomy sky.The album, with a total duration of just over fifty-one minutes, consists of four fairly long tracks.


On their debut album, Oak presents the listener with an atmospheric Doom Metal with influences of Funeral Doom and Death Metal. While listening, I noticed that the album can be unofficially divided into two parts, which are quite different from each other. The first part of the album is the first two tracks "Sculptures" and "Mirror", - these each run between sixteen & nineteen mintues. Here we  find slow and atmospheric works very similar in style to the Funeral Doom. The tracks are quite simple in their structure and manner of performance. Despite the fact that there are a couple of high-speed moments close to Death metal, the main line is a very slow Doom with a lot of atmospheric acoustic guitar parts. As an comparisons , I’d cite Esoteric and the early works of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, however, there are no catchy melodies and guitar solos, but there are classical structures for Funeral Doom, which I would describe as a melodic combination of chords. The second part of the album is the tracks "Abomination", which lasts a little less than six and a half minutes and "Maze", which lasts almost nine minutes. With these tracks, Oak loses its atmosphere and goes towards Death metal. Compositions became more complicated, a large number of medium and high-speed tempo moments appeared, with the complete absence of acoustic parts and guitar solos. There is also no obvious melodic line here, but already because heavy riffs are used here, not combinations of chords. In general, we hear the classic Death/Doom metal, which reminded me of something from Esoteric and early Septic Flesh works. I not sure why there are such big difference between the tracks on this album. It is possible that the compositions were written at different times, and with a long break, when the creative vision of the musicians changed a bit. As for the overall sound of the album, I really liked it. I could clearly hear each instrument. Though that said, the sound of the bass drum seemed to me too intense. In high-speed moments of the compositions, this creates not very pleasant vibrations in the overall sound and slightly absorbs other instruments. Also, I really liked the vocals -these are  classic Death / Doom vocals with wheezing and boiling tones, which is very suitable for this type of music.

In finishing with Lone we have a very strong Death / Doom metal album, which, leaves one with two different, though positive impressions. Maybe it  might have worked more consistently had  they chosen the style of the first two tracks through-out. Or, redone the compositional structure of all tracks and combine parts of the third and fourth tracks with the first two- that way  a more diverse and progressive sound canvas would have turned out. That said, the Oaks debut album impressed me a lot. I think this is a great representative of the genre, which will appeal to many fans of such music. I will look forward to hearing new works from Portuguese duo.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Sergey Pakhomov
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