Overall Score: 7/10 Harsh vocals : 8/10 Riffs: 8/10 Song variety: 6/10 Pros: Consistently enjoyable throughout | Mirage is a fantastic closer Cons: Lacks standout songs
Having already built up an impressive fan-base following the success of their Into The Deep EP, Oceans Ate Alaska look to expand on this with their release of their debut album Lost Isles. Metalcore is a crowded genre right now but it seems like Oceans Ate Alaska might just have what it takes to stand out. Lost Isles finds a nice middle ground between tech-metal and the more accessible metalcore sound of bands like Of Mice & Men. The end result can be a little confusing at first as the album can switch from a frenzied tech-metal section to an almost pop influenced section of clean vocals. It’s the kind of album just could have sounded messy if it wasn’t executed so well.
The album certainly works best when Oceans Ate Alaska focus on the heavier side of things. The technicality of the music really separates Oceans Ate Alaska from their peers, every member of the band really delivers on these moments. Even the breakdowns managing to be more interesting thanks to some creative time signatures. Vocalist James Harrison shows an impressive range to his screams throughout the album and whilst the previously mentioned clean vocals might be a little too nice at points, their inclusion does help keep things varied. If anything the albums biggest problem is just the lack of standout songs. There isn’t a bad song on the album but with the exception of the 6 minute closing track “Mirage” none are particularly amazing. Fortunately this closing track shows how good Oceans Ate Alaska really draw from their prog-metal influences. Mixing softer more expansive moments with the tech-metal brutality of the rest of the album.
As debut albums go, Lost Isles is an impressive one. It might be lacking in standout tracks but it remains consistently enjoyable throughout and while it doesn’t exactly reinvent metalcore, it’s more interesting than a lot of recent releases. If Oceans Ate Alaska continue to improve then it won’t be long before they become of the heavyweights in the metalcore scene.
Oceans Ate Alaska’s Lost Isles is out now on Fearless Records.