Review Summary: One more ‘decent but not outstanding’ metal releases to add to the thousands.
Okera are an up-and-coming melodic death/doom metal band from Melbourne, Australia. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily call them that myself because, albeit they only recently released their debut album entitled A Beautiful Dystopia
, they borrow a lot of their style from another melodic death metal band, Be’lakor (who are from the same area), as well as other similar artists that have helped form the rich lineage of metal giving rise to a lot of today’s start-up bands. While there are exceptions that create the small crevice of difference between both bands respectively, the majority of elements keep them bound, for now at least. This is evident in the production quality and the mix of their debut inter alia, their chosen melodic instrumental technique and the strikingly similar vocals. The only small difference between both bands lies in the fact that Okera chose to place more emphasis on their use of doom metal influences in the backing instrumental composition on a few of their tracks. While I have not yet listened to the demo, and therefore am uncertain as to whether it is the same or similar, A Beautiful Dystopia
has the songs “The Black Rain”, “Futility”, “In Solitude”, and the self-titled track “A Beautiful Dystopia” which resemble the music released by artists similar in execution of this particular doom metal technique. Some of these artists that have come to my mind while listening to A Beautiful Dystopia
are Russia’s ‘Funeral Tears’, Australia’s ‘Inverloch’ (another Melbourne band), early ‘My Dying Bride’ (namely Turn Loose The Swans
), and Portugal’s ‘Process Of Guilt’.
For what it is though A Beautiful Dystopia
is an entertaining release. The doom metal bits aren’t too long and they aren’t too generic. The background melodies are sometimes captivating and have the potential to carve visuals of the album’s theme into the mind(s) of the listener(s), as do the vocals and rhythm riffs. The tone created by the album art and lyricism reflects the atmosphere of the instrumentation and vocals. Some of the introductory melodies, like the beginning of the track “Like Jewels In The Sky”, and melodies embedded in the follow-up verses, really seize the attention of those who can hear it. Even the lyrics (surprisingly) show some intriguing concepts and ideas which further add to the entertainment value of the release.
Unfortunately though, A Beautiful Dystopia
falls short of being memorable, and doesn’t contribute at all to the standard set by those like them, that were crafting the style before them, and that have started the newer projects that dominate the field today. The latent re-hashing of ideas that ate at my implicit cognition didn’t just remind me of Be’lakor, who they sound a lot like during their melodic death metal sections, but other artists like Sweden’s ‘In Mourning’ and Finland’s ‘Ikuinen Kaamos’, plus the handful of doom metal bands who I mentioned only a paragraph or two ago, and the plethora of artists who I just can’t recall right now or have yet to discover. I am sure that those who listen to the album will think of many other bands that I failed to credit in this short write-up that bear very similar elements as those displayed in A Beautiful Dystopia
, which is good because it further affirms the point, that the album may be new in a material sense but it’s immaterial contents are what leaves me satisfied in giving it a 3/5. To me it is the rating which best reflects the quality of the music I had listened to and how much I enjoyed it.
Like Jewels In The Sky
A Beautiful Dystopia