The notion of a band being a brotherhood opposed to just a collective is of course a common one, but it is one that especially rings true when it comes to young Metalcore outfit Oceans Ate Alaska. In interview cycles and the like, their tale was that of a group of school friends since a very young age, before coming together and making strong ripples with their brand of Prog-tinged Metalcore on their début Lost Isles (Fearless). Continue reading →
Making waves (see what I did there…) following two introductory EP on Density Records, talented quintet Oceans Ate Alaska, from Birmingham, England, are a schizophrenic psychotic tick in musical guise. Dubbing themselves as progressive metalcore seems to undersell and mislead, as Lost Isles (Fearless) showcases a high degree of technical proficiency, spurting spasming rhythms of meticulous, systematic precision and understated melodic britcore (yes, I’m using that phrase and with no apologies – British metalcore sounds different to its American counterpart).
As if adamant to prove that under the sea lives all manner of chaotic life form, within 43 seconds of opening track ‘Blood Brothers’ (we’ll ignore the inevitable, ubiquitous, unnecessary “intro” track) we’ve been treated to convulsion of rhythmic battery alongside vocal paroxysms that spit out three different styles, screamo, death metal growl and sung, over three different riffs, before the song lurches off-kilter into yet more spasmodic sections.
The process of bursts of rapid-fire arrhythmic violence continues throughout, seeking to cuff the brain into submission with unyielding sonic ruptures, a tech metal death by a thousand guitar stabs, before Oceans Ate Alaska open up their sound on ‘Vultures and Sharks’ and start to truly display the potential within.
There are inevitable comparisons to Bring Me The Horizon, mainly in that James Harrison’s sung tones and the melody lines used are not a million miles away from Oli Sykes, but Oceans… are a different beast; there’s added Meshuggah and spice to their stylings. Fellow scribe Chris Tippell coined them BMTH meets The Contortionist and his radar is as tight as the intermittent punch that permeates ‘Over The Edge’ on his tech-prog-core.
It can be difficult setting out to try and differentiate yourselves from others, and Oceans Ate Alaska perhaps push things too far in setting their stall in the kitchen-sink side of headfuck music, though they can take credit from the fact that not only are they ploughing their own furrow, but they have the technical chops and ear for melody to make it happen for themselves. Lost Isles is a sensory overload that will make an impression on the ears and minds of those who like their discordance delivered as a staccato premeditated cudgelling, while with tunes like ‘Downsides’ in their arsenal, the band have the breadth to push into more melodic and conventional streams.
So, now they’ve consumed Alaska, it’ll be very interesting to see what they fancy making for dessert…
Birmingham, UK’s Oceans Ate Alaska is streaming the music video for “Vulture and Sharks,” off their debut album Lost Isles, out now via Fearless Records, here.
Filmed in the United Kingdom, directors Adam Barker and Oliver Price of VideoInk looked to bring out the aggression heard throughout the song by playing off nature’s most destructive elements.
Lead vocalist James Harrison explains,
“We had a ton of fun back in December shooting our video for V&S. We were soaking wet and freezing cold for the majority of it, which sure took it’s toll both mentally and physically. Artistically we wanted the video to coincide with the track lyrically, hence the rain, wind, and storms. Hopefully the finished product enriches those emotions contained within this song.”
Lost Isles Track List
1. Fourthirtytwo (Intro)
2. Blood Brothers
3. High Horse
4. Vultures and Sharks
8. Equinox (Interlude)
9. Part of Something
10. Over the Edge
12. Lost Isles
Stemming from Birmingham, UK, Oceans Ate Alaska is made up of James Harrison (Vocals), James Kennedy (Guitar), Adam Zytkiewicz (Guitar), Mike Stanton (Bass), and Chris Turner (Drums). The band offers a progressive strain of experimental modern metalcore that has gotten them noticed as one of metal’s most exciting and fresh young names. With music as unpredictable as it is expressive, the band found inspiration for their name from the world’s largest recorded mega-tsunami – measuring at 1,700 feet high – that demolished Alaska’s coastline in 1958. The band was attracted to the natural disaster’s national headline that read “Oceans Ate Alaska” where they decided to carry the name on a path to make their own history. By pushing sonic boundaries, Oceans Ate Alaska aim to take listeners on an emotional journey through unpredictable arrangements (both heavy and melodic), ruthless riffs, and unforgiving guttural vocals; setting an atmospheric landscape that showcases the band’s technical skill.
European Tour w/ Chelsea Grin
Feb 24: Circolo Colony – Brescia, Italy
Feb 25: Arena – Wien, Austria
Feb 26: A38 – Budapest, Hungary
Feb 27: Substage – Karlsruhe, Germany