Oak – Disintegrate

Four years after their promising debut entitled Lone, Oak, a funeral doom project from Porto formed by Guilherme Henriques (vocals, chitara and bass), leader of the notable Gaerea, and Pedro Soares (drums), also until recently a member of that same black metal band, are back. Disintegrate is a more ambitious work than its predecessor in virtue of the single track proposal of around three quarters of an hour in duration, and also, in my opinion, better defined because the extreme background and the doom soul coexist perfectly without never clashing, delineating an overall picture of terrifying darkness and poignant despair. The album must be listened to carefully and several times, only in this way will it have time and opportunity to irreparably penetrate the listener’s defences, just as Funeralium did a little over a year ago, with the difference that the Portuguese leave more space for introspective passages as well as some melodic glimmer, resulting less suffocating than their French colleagues. All this also stems from a different lyrical concept, since it is the narration of a sort of out-of-body experience coinciding with the moments before and after death; the reading of the lyrics in this case helps the interpenetration with a sonic fabric that incorporates the influences of most of the noble fathers of the subgenre (Mournful Congregation above all), returning them in a very personal and deep form. Disintegrate concretises what I hoped for in reviewing Lone, taking Oak to a level far beyond that of a mere promising funeral doom reality.

2023 – Season of Mist