Review Summary: Innovative metalcore with a touch of wankery.
Oceans Ate Alaska have expanded upon modern metalcore with their debut album, Lost Isles
, as a blend of melodic and technical instrumentation make this album standout among the crowded metalcore scene. Lost Isles
highlights a lot of the band's talent that they touched on with their previous works, and expands upon it greatly. Compare the generic singles that made Oceans Ate Alaska popular to this album, and one will see the massive amount of growth that the band has experienced, as they have created a sound that is distinguishable as their own with this release.
features a blend of post-hardcore and technical metalcore, which comes together surprisingly well, considering the genre differences. The key component that allows for this blend to happen is due to the musicianship that every member of the band has. The drums play a major role, as they stand out in the mix, bringing some of the most complicated drumming I’ve ever heard from a metalcore release. The drums range from blast beats to d-beats, and this is all occurring with ever-changing time signatures, which seem to happen almost too much. The technicality of the guitars is also present, ranging from melodic ambiance, to Rings of Saturn-ish wankery. Songs like “Part of Something” highlight the balance of technical and melodic guitar playing together, although some may see the transitions between the two styles as being too noticeable, and taking away from the music. Vocally, the amount of range used is pretty impressive, as he uses cleans, along with decent lows and more impressive highs. The use of cleans is much less than their previous work, but instead we see a much larger focus on the heaviness.
Song structure is something that is important this album in particular, as the standard formula is only used in a minority of their songs. Tracks like “Mirage” and Linger” display the overall tone of the album well, which is the balance of being melodic and heavy at the same time. Breakdowns are something that this album definitely utilizes very creatively, although they may be used too much for some, with almost every track on the album having more than one. Overall, Lost Isles
is a great example of technical metalcore, as Oceans Ate Alaska has come up with a unique sound that is breath of fresh air for an increasingly stale genre.