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Ocoai - Breatherman CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.84 | 13 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A pleasant surprise to say the least. This year has indeed been a real let down as far as the bigger post rock bands go, Cult of Luna, Kayo Dot, Russian Circles, but it seems that the post rock underground have a bunch of gems just springing up from the ground this year. Bands like Followed By Ghosts, pg.lost, and Occoai have really impressed me this year, especially when compared to the bigger bands.

What has been said about Occoai is true though, they are a Pelican clone, with a more atmospheric edge, and depending on who you ask, that could be a good or bad thing. Me, I like my Pelican rough and heavy, but it seems these guys can get away with writing some more post rocky songs, and hey, even pretty songs. Bottom line is, even though their approach is pretty unoriginal, they're able to soup up the music in a slightly original way.

The album starts off with a very energetic song O Bowen, this song kinda portrays a little bit of everything in the album, delayed guitars, ambient sections, and full on post metal brutality. This goes into the title song Breatherman, which is definitely the most Pelican rip offish, not a lot of digital effects whether it be on the guitars or not, just a driving, forceful, kick-in-the-teethe kind of song that another band is really good at playing, actually they're the best, Pelican... Occoai loses points here for unoriginality. It's okay cause they strike back with the excellent song Manifestent, an atmospheric song that resembles more Isis, or Cult of Luna than anything else, and they do an excellent job of sounding semi original! The Next song is what really makes the album a winner though, the second shortest track smack dab in the middle Pour Rever. A beautiful acoustic riff just melts in with some atmospherics, and percussion, but nothing that gets in the way, blissful track, I only wish it were longer. It's okay again though, cause this leads on to the best track on the album: Babble. A mix of their super Pelican influenced sound, with their atmospheric Isis-ish sound, to create the longest, most epic, and dare I say most progressive song this group has done yet! Instead of relying on recycled power chords, and vibrato picked drop D tuned sections, they use higher arpeggios to climax the song, and intense riffage to keep it heavy. If you're going to get this album, get it for Pour Rever, and Babble! The next song Lunoir is Occoai's attempt to make their own March into the sea, it's brutal, it's fast, and it's extremely climactic. A very good song, but you can just hear the Pelican just oozing out of it. The last track is a filler, and an excellent way to end any album, just a moody piano piece, nothing too melodramatic, or pretentious.

Occoai is a band that draws heavy influence, and obviously knows what their sound is, but just needs to utilize, and solidify it, and try and back down from their influences to make more captivating music. Really though, for a knock off album, it's pretty good, definitely better than most of the DT or Genesis clones that are all over the place. For originality, outside of originality, 4 stars.

Dim | 4/5 |


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