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Oceanica - One Dark CD (album) cover

ONE DARK

Oceanica

Progressive Metal


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4 stars The Spinnings, The Sighing, and Oh! The Singing!

Here seem to be the musings and the musicks of a sensitive soul, a solitary songsmith, the outpouring of hope, struggle, faith, despair, and love.

THOMAS BENEDICT HARRIS-HAYES has crafted a luminous, wistful, crisp, explosive, heart-tugging album, created it word-by-word, thought-by-thought, note-by-note...

...Into this touching, provocative, disturbing, heart-wrenching, ultimately dare I say it, spiritual work.

I was caught from the first winding of the clock, to the last vast orchestral echo of infinite call-and-response, waiting- waiting to see, to hear, to ponder what might come next, and what has just been said?

What is being proposed? What sin, what forgiveness, what childhood tragedy? What sensual joy and whispered commitment that although the river rises I shall not bend. And if it dries and withers, I shall celebrate the roots and bones?

What torment of loneliness and mind-chaos of the introverted spirit, and what entangled roots go so deeply?

We Are Challenged and Invited

To dance, to weep, to whirl, to lose the self, to realize we are found, to remember...

ONE DARK seemed to me to be a scintillating, writhing, lithe, tormented, worshipful meditation, and explosion of crisp guitars, cinematic sounds, and always...

That Dancing, Evocative, Wistful Voice

The voice, the vocals, the call-and-response, the wailings and whisperings, that cries, the promises, the desecrations and resurrections- all seemed to be the central instrument being wielded, manifested as light from the sun.

The Music

Lyrics which suggest, provoke, test, reveal, and yet conceal, walk hand-in-hand with sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce, metal/pop (sometimes subverted it seemed to me, for instance on "Towards the Sun")/rock/folk/ambient...

HARRIS-HAYES proved himself to be adept at utilizing bass guitar, drums, keyboards, orchestrations, choral passages, from the mighty and sublime, to the dying whispers of loss and darkness.

I was riveted.

My rating, easily 4 soul-wrenching stars, "Excellent addition to any progressive rock collection".

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Posted Sunday, January 5, 2020 | Review Permalink

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