Imagine the disquiet that the majestic darkness of the ocean can provoke on a night where only the lightning of a storm in the distance allows a little light to shine between the darkness of the sky and the sea, where we float in the middle, while the darkness and the deep sea wait for a moment of weakness to swallow us into the deepest darkness, a metaphor of the human soul, increasingly attracted to the darkest, most dramatic and, many times, most evil. This disturbing picture can find its expression in music among the notes of the first full length by Russian death doomsters Ephemeral Ocean, who made their debut after releasing last year’s ep, Honour in the Mask. The young band from Moscow releases an excellent example of death metal with a doom-like, dark and dramatic progression, in line with the productions of the mid-nineties, with a particular taste for melancholic melodies and good progressive digressions. The album is divided into seven movements, where acoustic harmonies, slowed down tempos and extreme outbursts are well thought out and accompanied by a cavernous growl and clean vocals that are up to the task, very expressive and with dark/prog references. The tracks are very atmospheric, in the genre well delineated and not at all predictable, thanks to a good variety of moods that, while keeping the colours on black tones, make listening enjoyable even for those who are not exactly dark souls. We immediately enter into the dramatic aura of the work with the opener The Semblance of Eternal Mist, a death metal song written over a rainbow of intense black colours that slowly fade to grey, like when flashes of light clear up and make us see the shadowy clouds above us. It is a moment, a blink of an eye, and in Inanimate Diary we return to floating in the immensity of the sea and the sky. The splendid clean voice introduces the track, which suddenly veers again into extreme territories, with pressing rhythms again attacked by the extreme singing of Dmitriy Stempkovskiy, the protagonist of an excellent performance with clean vocals. Lullaby to Our Grudges turns out to be the most beautiful and poignant track of the lot, together with the concluding No Will, almost ten minutes where the Russian band faces demons, between extreme outbursts and dark prog harmonies, with truly remarkable results in terms of theatricality, atmospheres and their innate talent for melancholic and dramatic sounds. The influences can be found in the early works of bands that have become icons of the genre such as Katatonia and Opeth, with riffs and solos reminiscent of Dark Tranquillity, in the more death-oriented parts, although the band places them in a context of their own, with excellent personality, so that The Efflorescence is an excellent listen for lovers of the genre. A band of unquestionable ability, Ephemereal Ocean should be followed carefully, they could give us great satisfaction on the next tour, recommended. (A.Centenari – MetalEyes 28/12/2015)
2015 – MFL Records
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