“Sunless” is one very epic album. There are only 4 songs on it, but all four are quite lengthy tracks that combine heaviness of doom with the adventure of a progressive metal song. Oceanwake have many different elements in play on each track. The opener “The Lay of a Coming Storm” has the slow march of doom metal and yet about half way through, the track reveals a more melodic, almost Floydian vibe, before it hammers you in the head again. After 12 minutes, you might assume that Oceanwake are done with the twists and turns but that’s when you get clean vocals! “The Lay of a Coming Storm” is an amazing opening track because it showcases all the things that Oceanwake are capable of! That’s the main reason that “Sunless” is such a great album.
“Parhelion” has a cool post-metal like guitar line repeating in the background
(think Godflesh) as the band lays down more sludge metal. But again, don’t get comfy because the track mellows out, like Tool at half-speed. “Avanturine” has probably the best hooks of any of the tracks. But don’t think that makes it any less intense or epic. In fact, the track gets heavier as it goes along, again at a slow, doom pace. The final track “Ephemeral” has all of the aforementioned elements, with the slower, proggy part in the middle feeling more psychedelic than previous tracks.
“Sunless” is perfect for fans of doom metal of course but the diverse nature of the tracks should appeal to fans of post-metal and also progressive metal too. This album isn’t about how many notes you can play but rather what notes you play and when. There’s tons of atmosphere on each track and the production by Jonne Järvelä is perfect. It’s rare to have four tracks of such size and power not feel overwhelming. “Sunless” never overstays its welcome and each time you listen you’ll want to start it over again.