It’s always a great feeling to hear for the first-time bands that are moving to a sound that you love, that you wonder how you didn’t notice them earlier. Ocean Of Grief is one such case. They started in 2014, in 2016 they released the EP “Fortress Of My Dark Self”, in 2018 the debut album “Nightfall’s Lament” and now their second full-length “Pale Existence”.
The Athenian band moves in the field of atmospheric doom/death metal, a special style which, if played correctly, gives unique moments to the listener. And I think Ocean Of Grief has achieved that without doubt. An album which on the one hand continues the very good work done with their two previous releases and on the other shows their evolution as a band. The compositions are dark and atmospheric with melancholic melodies. In relation to its predecessors, “Pale Existence” seems to me a little more melodic and more up-tempo in times, but this does not change its doom/death character.
As a point of reference think of bands like Draconian, Swallow The Sun, Saturnus or even their fellow countrymen On Thorns I Lay and Immensity, with one important difference though. Ocean Of Grief focuses exclusively on death growls, with no trace of melodic or clean vocals. An area in which Charalampos Oikonomopoulos has been doing an excellent job since the first day of the band and at the time of writing these words it was announced that he is leaving and Nick Vlachakis of funeral doom/death metallers Shattered Hope is coming in his place.
In conclusion, “Pale Existence” is a perfectly crafted album from start to finish. It has seven awesome compositions with a total duration of forty-seven minutes and is a very good example of how atmospheric doom/death should be played properly. Personally speaking, it’s on my list as one of the best releases of this year so far and I’ve already invested in a physical copy since the band’s Bandcamp has some pretty cool stuff to choose from.