Getting to review a metalcore album is always a pleasure for me and I don't get this opportunity too often. Every once in a while when a debut album is set to be released in this subgenre, I hope for a creative and innovative full-length. I want to give every aspiring metalcore band the chance to win me over with their music and although it didn't happen during the last few months, I'll never stop believing that it will.
This month's candidate is the newcomer act Oceans Ate Alaska from Birmingham, UK, and man, it's a pretty cool one. It's so refreshing to listen to a record that outreaches standard metalcore and that covers all kinds of genres like progressive, deathcore and variations of death metal. "Lost Isles" is a very technical album as a whole (but not too polished and neat, though) and therefore needs some passes to fully enjoy. The most pleasant surprises I had while listening to it are James Harrison's guttural vocals as they reminded me a lot of Eddie Hermida in All Shall Perish, the progressive song structures and the changing dynamics ranging from catchy choruses to demonic dark moments. A great debut album in my opinion should expose a band's musical direction and intention, approach, the members' talent and songwriting skills and for me, Oceans Ate Alaska did a great job on exactly these points.
I once mentioned in a review some time last year that metalcore newcomers can't play it safe anymore nowadays. I can't name many metalcore or even deathcore acts founded during the last years and only very few ones that could actually outreach the standard audience - and that's the point. The genre needs to grow and further requires talented und innovative bands. I surely hear loads of potential in "Lost Isles" because of its innovative style that combines many musical elements. Time and the next records will show if the UK based band can further refine its style. Song recommendations: "Vultures And Sharks" for deathcore fans, "Blood Brothers" for all technical death lovers and "Over The Edge" for prog devotees.