It’s almost taboo to fall into a category in 2015. No, please, not the genre box, anything but that! By exploring a plethora of emotive states in a post-hardcore-techy-death-metalcore haze, ’Lost Isles’ is a square peg in a round hole, but let’s face it – the round hole wasn’t working out in the first place.
Birmingham’s Oceans Ate Alaska have worked their metalcore socks off since forming in 2011, signing with Fearless Records a mere 3 years later. If that’s no suitable testament to their talent, touring with the likes of The Color Morale, The Word Alive and Veil Of Maya certainly is. Taking ownership of the faint concept of a ship lost at sea, ‘Lost Isles’ sails into almost every subgenre’s harbour, but the question is – which one should their vessel call home?
Opening with a thumping riff, ‘Fourthirtytwo’ establishes an atmosphere of heavy as fuck techy layers, before the ‘Blood Brothers’ wade in with their screeching-growling dialogue. By absorbing influences from Architects and Bring Me The Horizon, ‘High Horse’ delivers skull-crushing fretwork to contribute to the fast-paced venomous rage of Harrison’s piercing screams. “Opportunity is your only ally”, exclaims the headstrong ‘Downsides’, perfected with clean choruses and a strong cellular guttural energy the scene has lost sight of in recent years. The call to arms of ‘Entity’ heralded by jaw-dropping drumwork encapsulates the band’s ethos of emotional determination, breaking hearts with the cry “you’ll always have a place in my heart even after death pulls us apart”.
Technical, chaotic and devilish, ‘Part Of Something’ conveys electric rage in stark comparison with the combination of soft emotive and aggressive vocals of its successor ‘Over The Edge’. Moods change rapidly and unexpectedly, but the smooth flow of the record is testament to their spectrum of talent. Spitting venom through the clean choruses of ‘Downsides’ and raising the roof with album-stealer ‘Floorboards’’ contagious crowd chants and sing-alongs, every second is loaded with atmosphere and energy. Melodic cleans set a striking contrast with guttural growls amidst the ‘Vultures and Sharks’, while the record closes on the reflective refrains of ‘Lost Isles’ and ‘Mirage’, dropping the curtain on a desperate, heartfelt plea where ‘Lost Isles’ comes full circle.
Oceans Ate Alaska have set sail toward pretty much every trend we’ve seen in the last decade and somehow master every single one. Both melodic and chaotic in equal measure, they came to conquer and have wholeheartedly succeeded.
’Lost Isles’ by Oceans Ate Alaska is released on 23rd February on Fearless Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_)