Some bands are just masters of shrouding themselves in mystique. The creation of one Bard Oberon, Norway’s Oberon began as early as 1994 as one of Prophecy Record’s first outputs, with their own brand of esoteric and dark, multiple influenced music. 1998 saw the band’s second full length Mysteries before Bard began his own musical journey, transcending different sonic landscapes under a different moniker; Future Whirl. Now Oberon returns with their latest effort, Dream Awakening (Prophecy).
Like much of the work Oberon is associated with over the years, Dream Awakening has its roots in atmospheric folk with enough tints of the experimental to catch the attention of the prog foray. Dream Awakening ventures very little distance from its predecessors, mostly built upon folk’s clean acoustic guitars and soaring vocals and a near haunting tone. The palette is broadened here however with some electric, energetic moments, ‘Escape’, for example, comes across like a cross between Opeth and The Pineapple Thief yet never feels out of place.
Oberon’s strength has always been his conjuring of atmosphere and here is no different; invoking contrasting moods and tones throughout offering both the brooding and gloomy as well as a sense of uplifting.
A cryptic presence in the more thought provoking musical realms, Oberon’s latest effort has enough character and qualities which will appeal to both the prog audience and the extreme metal crowd who worship the likes of Alcest and Les Discrets. An earthy album caped in whimsy and mystery.