Here’s my album review of “Hikari” by Oceans Ate Alaska, a Birmingham-based Metalcore band. I wanted to share my thoughts about this record because I found it really interesting, both from a musical and drummer’s perspective. Having learnt about it listening to the Modern Drummer Podcast, I thought it would be worth giving it a listen and checking out the Chris Turner’s drumming.
To my ears, the album sounds like a cross between Meshuggah and The Dillinger Escape Plan, yet more polished and less cohesive. Every track, as I wouldn’t necessarily called them songs, try to capture chaos in a bottle. Lightning fast changes in pace, frantic guitar riffs and drum grooves, furious vocals contrasted with clean singing makes for music that sounds like music for a generation with a short attention span. And whilst this may sound negative, I think it makes it really cutting-edge; the album is very much of its zeitgeist.
Coming from a slightly different heavy metal background, to me the tracks don’t seem to go anywhere, but perhaps it might be because I’m more of a traditionalist. But then again, I don’t dislike what I’m hearing and neither am I trying to put it down. I’m finding it difficult to wrap my head around how a band can be both so creative and non-imaginative at the same time. Technically-speaking, they’re great and the individual bits in every song are cool, but they don’t seem to blend.
Chris Turner’s drumming
Turning to Chris Turner’s drumming, his approach to the music fits perfectly to the Ocean Ate Alaska’s sound. His playing is really interesting as he never seems to play the same thing twice, yet every drum groove really does sound like no note hasn’t been thought through. Intricate and detailed, furious yet intellectual. Really cool stuff!
So, whilst this may not be my cup of tea, I actually enjoyed the album; cool music representative of its time, executed with precision. Yet, it’s not something I may go back to even though it has made an impact in me, and that’s what art is supposed to do. They would be a great band to check out live, I imagine.
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