Band: OAKENGenres: Metal / Rock / Ambient Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Metalcore / Noise / Experimental
Related artists: N/A.
Country: Budapest, HUNGARY
Years Active: 2012-present
Album: "Marnost split"
Label(s): Zegema Beach Records / Middle Man Records / IFB Records / Dingleberry Records / Bookhouse Records / Black Lake Records / Galt House Records / Antithetic Records / Catanarchy Records / Dzsukhell Rekords / Itai Records / Music For Liberation /Prejudice Me Records / Rotten Raven / THC+DIY Records
This post's artist is from the May 2014 Mix. This is track #9.
You can download the May 2014 Mix#6 right here or get the new July Mix#7 here.
For fans of: AmenRa, Amber, Locktender, Old Man Gloom, Buried Inside, Examination Of The..., Doomriders, Lone Wolf And Cub, Tephra, Rosetta, Gantz, Gray Ghost, Tusk, Castle, Isis, Totem Skin, Angel Eyes, Tel Fyr, Gojira, Lentic Waters, Medusa, Back When, Snowblood, Kowloon Walled City, Giant, Monuments Collapse, Mataburro, Celeste, Iscariote, Titan, Swarm Of The Lotus, Llynch, Burnt By The Sun, The End, Curl Up And Die, Lara Korona, Disappearer, Sundowning, From A Second Story Window, Intronaut, Nic, Into The Moat, Johnny Truant, Knut, The Ocean, Spires, and Mares Of Thrace.
OAKEN hail from Hungary and will fill any void left by bands such as AmenRa, Totem Skin, Old Man Gloom and Amber, albeit with more experimentation, desolation, anger and 1.5 drum kits. Over their 3 years releasing music OAKEN has 3 releases, which I will talk about relatively briefly.
"I Am The Crucifix" is more punishing than the band's other contribution to the split 12". Clocking in at 7:22, it ultimately kicks your ass for the first 2 minutes before settling into a slower groove reminiscent of Isis and AmenRa until the 3:15-mark when we are ushered into a dark and dank church for some satanic sounding shit. I'm not usually one for growling, but the back and forth between higher screaming and gutteral, bestial sounds fit in a way where any other style would seem out of place and are kind of reminiscent of Totem Skin's dual vocal attack.
"Redeemer" is my favourite OAKEN song of all time. This 10-minute masterpiece starts out slower and right before the 3-minute mark the band delves into some serious AmenRa territory with slow, plodding and serene/dark instrumentals with some great female singing. The song really goes all over the place, but never without justification, as the structure of the song is very impressive and each transition seems not only like the next logical step, but they take that step with a lot of thought and careful consideration. After the clean singing the song rolls back into a valley of demonic growls and a bass-heavy breakdown. At 6:30 the OAKEN boys even bring in some chanted vocals which have an Old Man Gloom and Examination Of The... feel to them over Rosetta/Isis/Mono sounding spacey riffs. Fucking epic stuff.
I should also mention that I love the packaging for this release. So much black. As it should be...as it should be. One more thing, Zegema Beach Records will not release anything harder than this. This is as hard as I can do!
Locktender / Wounded Knee / Coma Regalia split
The reason why I decided to help out with the 'Marnost split' was because the previous year I had stumbled across their '4-way split' with Locktender, Wounded Knee and Coma Regalia, which contained the exclusive track "Zugló". It's a great song and contains many the eclectic changes throughout the song. I think the band was able to harness the raw and aggressive power of this older material and really evolve it on the 2014 split into a thicker and more epic black/crust/post-metal group that retains the harmonious nature of the varying genres contained therein. At 3:54 the song rips off one of the best sections the band has ever done, as the Amber/Pelican-esque guitars are layered with both vocalists spewing rage to the max. It's also over 11 minutes long.
The first song released by OAKEN was their 2012 song "The Hunter", which is my favourite track after "Redeemer". This is a vast and sprawling 11+ minute piece of work that is much lighter on the ears than the band's later material. At times it feels less cohesive than other songs, but this loose arrangement allows for a rawness that captures the emotions of band members in a stripped-down and honest way that isn't represented on later material. There also isn't much, if any, growling.
Below are some words that came to mind while listening to OAKEN and writing this review:
-scary as shit
-fucking hardcore, man
-music for a soundtrack
2012 - The Hunter (stream/buy here)
2013 - Locktender / Wounded Knee / Coma Regalia 4-way split 12"LP (PURCHASE here)
2014 - Marnost split 12"LP (PURCHASE here)
(2014) OAKEN - "Redeemer" (from 'Marnost' split)
(2013) OAKEN - "Zugló" (from '4-Way' split)
OAKEN additional links