Album Review: Oak – Lone 8

  • Oak
  • Lone
  • Death Doom/Post Black
  • Portugal
  • December 20, 2019
  • 8/10

Bandcamp / Transcending Obscurity Records

Is this Treebeards band? The vocals deadset sound like they’re coming for a colossal fucking tree. I shit you not. OAK are a death doom duo from Portugal and this is Lone, their debut LP featuring the artwork of Paolo Gerardi. There’s a strong presence with OAK that I think has carried over from their experience writing black metal songs in the band Gaerea. While it is certainly death doom, it is sometimes coated in black influence – particularly the song structure and vocal execution. Lone will be a memorable late year release many doom heads will take with them into 2020.

Artwork by Paolo Gerardi

Get comfortable because this album is some long form metal. The opening track “Sculptures” is 16 minutes which is then followed up by “Mirrors”, a slow building 19 minute doom epic. It will be too slow for some people at points, normies just won’t get it. I’ve said it before, you’re either in for long form or your out and for those where are in – well, you’re in for a treat that is. It always pays off with slick grooves or they’ll even throw some blast beats in there for free, it’s great. I’m guessing it’s the drummer and vocalist/guitarist from Gaerea sticking to their mastered roles – it very much feels like a side project where they get to stretch out their skills and creativity while maintaining a serious musical approach. They never give the impression of being bored with what they’re doing, if you listen carefully there’s an impressive amount of detail in the progression of each sound. A lot of work has gone into this album.

There’s a crushing and swinging vibe to the more energetic riffs, especially as the longer tracks head towards an end. It’s quite easy to get fully absorbed and lost in the music. For the last two tracks “Abomination” and “Maze”, we’re given a more immediate start and shorter track lengths allowing for the death vocals to shine a bit more. The overall pace is quickened significantly which means two good things occur; the doom blast beats return in full force and the riff/lick tones takes on a much more rolling form resembling melodic death metal. There’s also much darker passages mixed throughout the sprawling soundscape, thick blackened sludge moments that resound triumphantly with energetic outbursts. This will be a good one for fans of Disgorged From Psychotic Depths by Mortiferum from earlier this year.

Speaking of sprawling soundscape, look at that sprawling landscape painted by the exceptional Paolo Girardi (Artificial Brain, Firespawn, Runemagick). It’s so fantastical in every way that it can’t help but bring to mind some Tolkienesque adventure or a sense of Druidism. This album cover was featured in my recent article 25 Glorious Metal Album Covers Of 2019

It’s a necessary listen for any doom fan no matter how hardcore or veteran, it’s a fresh take that I hope will continue as its own fully fledged project. Lone releases December 20th via Transcending Obscurity Records and two of the four tracks are currently streaming on Bandcamp.

8/10

Carcassbomb @ Noob Heavy Team

Submissions and metal PR: noobheavyau@gmail.com

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