I first heard about Oskoreien after acquiring a pretty sweet compilation album by the name of Der Wanderer über Dem Nebelmeer. The title is taken from a famous painting, The Wanderer Above The Sea Of Fog, translated obviously. And also a Wolves In The Throne Room track. And if you know anything about Wolves In The Throne Room, then you’ll have a rough idea about what kind of musical stylings to expect from Oskoreien.
1. Illusions Perish
2. Entropic Collapse
3. River Of Eternity
5. Ashen Remains
By some kind of mad mistake, I didn’t actually listen to this album until last week. It’s been recommended to me countless times, and I bought it a few weeks ago. But it just sat in my “must get round to this soon” list. I’ve been kicking myself about it ever since I first laid ears on it. I think this may be a very real contender for a top ten album of the year.
Illusions Perish is a bloody excellent intro to this record. The drum sound is incredible, and the shimmering (yes, shimmering) guitars only add to the sense that this is something quite special. The sound can be summed up by just the album cover itself. A lone man, surrounded by nature. It has that Cascadian black metal vibe written all over it. As well as WITTR, think Agalloch, think Skagos, think Petrychor. The final three minutes are something else entirely. The guitars now soaring, the vocals imploring you “…to abandon the past.” Stunning.
It’s not often that I get goosebumps whilst listening to music, but listen to this on a pair of headphones and you’ll likely have the same reaction. There’s something about closing yourself off to the outside world, only being able to hear the music and nothing else. Something that sits very well alongside the feeling you get from this album. That it’s one of loneliness, solitude. Quite fitting for a one man band.
There’s two instrumental tracks on the album, and they sit in the perfect places. After the initial “holy crap” of the first two songs, River Of Eternity comes along to calm things down a tad. It’s beautiful, all acoustic guitars and pretty melody. It’s quite lovely.
Transcendence hits next. The beginning is truly epic, again with a really full drum sound. Listen out at the four minute and seven and a half minute marks for vocal performances that could possibly be the best on the album. It’s hard to believe one person can have such a different range of styles in one track. Yet, it seems effortless to switch from the husky vocal more often heard over the fifty minute running length, to a sombre and deep tone more akin to doom records.
The closing track is another instrumental. Whilst the last was guitar led, this is piano (keyboard ?) driven. Yet it still has a melancholy air about it. Ashen Remains begins and ends with a sample of a ticking clock. Because everyone needs reminding that time is forever ticking away, faster than you think.
Click this. You can hear Illusions Perish for free and treat yourself to a bargain in the process.