A Drummer’s Album Review: “Hikari” by Oceans Ate Alaska

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.

The music

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.

Oceans Ate Alaska

Birmingham-based Oceans Ate Alaska

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!

Chris Turner

Chris plays DW drums and Sabian cymbals

Final thoughts

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.

Follow these links to listen to Hikari by Oceans Ate Alaska on iTunes or on Spotify. Let me know if you agree or disagree with me!

Thanks for reading, and if you’re interested in drum lessons, check out my lessons page and get in touch!


About Nick Schlesinger

I’m lucky to tour the UK and Europe with great artists and work on sessions in world-renowned studios such as Abbey Road Studios on some really cool projects. You can also find me playing covers gigs in and around London.

Education is a big part of my work, and I’m really passionate about helping drummers achieve their goals. Published by magazines like Modern Drummer (US) and Drummer (UK), I constantly add new educational content on my blog, and I frequently like to embark on various entrepreneurial projects.

Check out my drumming book: Concepts


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