Ocean of Grief – Pale Existence

After a dazzling debut in 2016 with the ep Fortress of My Dark Self, the Greeks Ocean of Grief had confirmed their potentiality two years later with an excellent first full length as Nightfall’s Lament; it took five years to follow up on that work and, as we know, such prolonged pauses can be deleterious in a crowded scene for a band that is good but not yet of established fame. The Athenians try to re-emerge from the pack with Pale Existence, yet another album in the name of impeccable melodic death doom that will certainly not disappoint the legitimate expectations accrued from listening to the aforementioned works; aven if perhaps the freshness and emotional impact exhibited by Ocean of Grief in those two works is not reached, it should be made clear from the outset that this full length connotes itself at above-average levels because the goodness of the melodic solutions remains constantly of the first order, with the guitar always ready to rise to the proscenium with solo passages of great merit. The opening song Poetry For The Dead is objectively marvellous and offers the most mournful guitar lines of the entire album, which later seems to stabilise along stylistic canons slightly more oriented to melodic death than to doom, also due to an overall hardening of the sound, not so clear-cut, but perceptible enough to be able to use as a possible term of comparison the more recent October Tide instead of their compatriots Enshine (by the way, Jari Lindholm offers his valuable contribution in the third track Unspoken Actions), as was the case in both Fortress of My Dark Self and Nightfall’s Lament. All that being said, Pale Existence is just what Ocean of Grief needed to return to the attention of all fans of meodic death doom.

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