Release 12 February 2016 on GS Productions (Russian).
Back in May I received a kind email from Phil Koliopanos inviting me to review his band, Ocean of Grief’s new EP Fortress of my Dark Self. Here’s the review, a couple of months later. Sorry about that.
Melodic doom/death metal band Ocean of Grief were formed in Athens, Greece in late 2014 drawing inspiration mostly from Saturnus and Slumber. This is their first official release.
My immediate response after listening to the album on Soundcloud was to email their guitarist saying simply “Wow! This is great! Loving is so far.”
Overall the EP reminds me very much of early Gothic-era Paradise Lost. And that, for me, is a good thing. A very good thing.
The EP opens with “Spiritual fortress” (track 1). A grand organ sound introduces the song, over which the guitars weave a lamentful melody. Gutteral, deep, growling vocals carve their way through the music. It is a doomy, gothic, lamentation.
“House of misery” (track 2) begins with a descending guitar arpeggio that builds to another beautiful and simple guitar melody. “Futile regrets” (track 3) is an up-beat and rocky number that employs another simple melodic guitar line that carries the song. About halfway through the band drops out for a guitar-only middle eight that introduces a new tick-tocking riff.
“Drowned in nostalgia” (track 4) opens slowly and gently. It’s the eeriest, most haunting track on the EP. Which is built on later as the vocals descend to a whisper.
The EP closes with “The birth of chaos” (track 5), another upbeat (for doom!) track
If I was looking for some criticism, I might say that there is not much variety in the EP. One song almost blends into the next. But on a release of this quality I can’t fault it on that. The songs are solid, tight and hold enough interest and individual character that it simply reminds the listener that these songs are part of a coherent collection by the same band—part of the family. Albeit a dark and lamentful family that sings tales of death and doom.
All in all, a brilliant first release that took me back to everything that I loved about Gothic (Paradise Lost) but to which Ocean of Grief added their own character and other influences.
More like this please.
Review score: 95%