Nightfall’s Lament by Ocean of Grief (2018)

Melodic death doom is for me one of the most beautiful music styles ever created. And I think I’ve just found one of the most beautiful melodic death doom albums I’ve ever listened to. I’ve already heard good comments about Ocean of Grief, a Greek band formed in 2014, and their EP, Fortress of my Dark Self, released in 2016. I even had listened to some of the songs in this EP and found they pointed out ways to be good. So, I was waiting with high expectations the release of their debut album, Nightfall’s Lament, and I am now here, after listening to it, completely amazed. 2018 has started really well with one album that could be the best of the year and, to top everything, it’s a debut album.

The opening track, In Bleakness, have left me knock out and I’ve been feeling chills down my spine during the seven minutes it lasts. It’d been some time since a song moved me this way. I have no words to describe it, so better listen to it yourself. After listening to the first track, I had my doubts that the band had managed to keep the level but… They had. All the songs are more than six minutes long, for a total of 47 minutes the whole album. Surprisingly, there’s nothing to be shorten, nothing unnecessary, nothing put there just to fill out, not a single weak track or weak minute. The elegant, melancholic and clever melodies built by lead guitar are like a guide you can hold on to as it takes you smoothly from one song to the next, giving the result of an album that stands out as a whole, as a solid and powerful composition that is more than the sum of its parts. The way songs circle around a couple of melodies and guitar phrases also turns the music a bit hypnotic and helps not to lose focus. Definitely, guitar work is awesome, the greatest strength of the album.

Regarding the mood and emotions, they covered all the classics of the genre: lots of melancholy, sadness, despair and loneliness, but with an intensity and a level of expression hard to achieve. The influences from other bands of the genre or close to it like Insomnium or Katatonia are clear, but the own style of the band get over them. Which are the highlights? Well, everything is a highligh! But if I had to choose, I’ll go with In Bleakness, of course, Eyes of Oblivion, which is not less epic than the previous one, Painting My Sorrow, which has a neat breakdown, the harsher The Breeding of Death and its original intro, and The Release of the Soul.

In his review, Angry Metal Guy said that if you like this style, then you should sprint, not walk, to get this album. I’d say you should not walk nor sprint, but FLY! Ocean of Grief have been such a revelation, coming out as masters of death doom, and I’m sure they’ll have a lot to say about this subgenre in the future. And I’ll be listening, of course.

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