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Oceansize - Frames CD (album) cover

FRAMES

Oceansize

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 248 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Where Post-Rock meets the modern dark-new-wave of progressive.

If it wasn't already clear from their sophomore effort that rocked the progressive world, Oceansize have stolen the flag of progressive rock and are waving it high. While this effort may not be quite as extreme, mood wise in their compositions on this output it's glaringly clear that they know what they're doing, and are the best at it. While Everyone Into Position was a masterful work of art and an album that blissfully combined the more soft and the more heavy side of the modern progressive scene this album takes everything that they were doing before and cranks it to the next level.

Extreme moods, maybe not, but the overall consistency of the tone and darkness on the album is truly impressive. The easiest song to compare any of Oceansize's modern work to is actually the easily most impressive opus from their former output ? imagine Ornament/The Last Wrongs, the incredible closer of Everyone Into Position, turned into a full length album and you pretty much get Frames. This one is a lot more subdued and subtle than anything that Oceansize has attempted before, which ironically turns it into a very ambitious project overall, one that has to capture the audience's mood and hold their attention while trying to manage the build and climaxes from the best of the post rock world in a decidedly ''Heavy Prog'' environment. Somehow it all works very well.

Take for instance, the opening trio of songs ? this must be the finest opening trinity of tracks this side of Dark Side Of The Moon. Commemorative T-Shirt opens the album and sets the tone with a couple of delicately picked notes before things get a little bit louder, the vocals softly and subtly join in and the rest of the instrumental tracks (including backing vocals) do everything in their power to make the ride as emotional as possible. A very tough thing indeed to pull off, but somehow they do it flawlessly. Soon enough there's a seamless transition and the incredible Unfamiliar jumps into play with its manic time signatures and highly impressive riffing. This is easily one of the standouts on the album, especially coming into the shouting part at the end which can send shivers down the spine of even the most hardened progger. Coming into the end of the first three songs, Trail Of Fire tones things down a bit, if only for a moment, with a soft and textured introduction before turning into a heavy, yet gorgeous track.

Onwards the songs only become more and more impressive. Savant and Only Twin are both a couple of chilling tunes that can easily move you to tears if you're not careful, both utilizing the band's tendency to rock the house while still maintaining that tense atmosphere that makes every song so intense and worthwhile. Things really change in pace with An Old Friend Of The Christy's, a song entirely post rock in structure. It works as a nice break in the mix, as an instrumental tune that builds and builds until its apocalyptic climax ? thank god it was well done, because for a moment there the band risked destroying the momentum of the album. Things take a left turn at Heavyville when Sleeping Dogs And Dead Lions kicks into gear with its almost extreme vocals and metal riffing. This would be the last time that things get very heavy, since the album ends with Frame, a fragile opus that closes the album brilliantly.

When people got excited about Fear Of A Blank Planet they've overlooked a major gem back in 2007. When you want to talk about ''release of the year'' this should have been the one to take the title. New editions of the album also include a brilliant live DVD of the entire album, which compliments the overall package greatly. If you've never heard the album then there's never been a better time to pick it up. 5 Frames out of 5, it doesn't get much better than this.

Stay tuned for a full review of the live DVD of Frames...

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |

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