OCEANS OF TIME (feat Jorn) – Trust (2016)
“Trust” is the new album by Norwegians OCEANS OF TIME, a band founded in 2005 and since then they have been amassing a strong cult fan base all over Scandinavia sharing stages with the likes of Glenn Huges, Masterplan, Katatonia, and even the great Jorn Lande sing guest lead vocals here.
Sometimes a truly good album can come from completely out of nowhere, either from a band you’ve never heard before, or a band you had long forgotten about. This has happened to me numerous times over the last few years, and the most recent example is with Norwegian’s Oceans of Time.
I had heard their indie debut album back in 2012 and liked it a lot, but over time it never really stuck with me, so I wasn’t exactly anticipating a new album.
Nonetheless, when I saw they had this sophomore album out immediately give it a listen and I was instantly blown away by how much more polished the band sounds 2016 and by how incredibly consistent the songwriting is.
Stylistically, Oceans Of Time are fairly unique, and this new effort “Trust” features a fluid mix of prog metal / melodic metal with lots of melodies and groove. I’d describe the album as being equal parts heavy, calm, melodic, catchy and complex, and they pull it off extremely well.
The songwriting is also quite varied, ranging from more straight-forward faster songs, to slower, more crushingly heavy tracks, occasionally balladry and some much more elaborated arrangements, but amazingly enough the quality is equally high on every track, which is a tough feat to accomplish with such varied songs.
While the musicianship is very impressive and technically proficient, vocals play a major role on the album, and vocalist Ken Lyngfoss certainly does an excellent job throughout. He also has a ton of support, with some nice sounding female vocals showing up on a couple tracks, most notably on the title track, as well as guest appearances from Jorn Lande, Pagan’s Mind singer Nils K. Rue and Ole Alexander Myrholt on the four part ‘Grapes of Baccus’ suite that closes the album.
Among the highlights there’s the incredibly addictive opening track ‘Charon’. After a brief orchestral intro, the track speeds up quickly and right away the heavy, killer guitar work and epic sounding keyboards kick in and the song takes off, giving way to one hell of an impressive chorus, and a pretty awesome solo section. It’s definitely one of the faster tracks on the album, and also one of the catchiest, but it still has some pretty complex instrumental work going on as well.
Things immediately take a turn for the unexpected with ‘Save You’, a more keyboard driven track that starts out feeling like a simple melodic metal song, before softening up completely and becoming more of a theatrical, classic sounding prog track during the chorus.
‘Pray for the Dying’ and ‘1865’ which start out slower and have some very technical instrumental work during the verses and solo parts, the former on the heavier, more guitar driven side, the latter softer and more keyboard driven, before fully speeding up during the chorus.
Perhaps the most straight-forward track musically is the title track, a mostly uptempo tune which features some great supporting female vocals that work very well with Ken’s vocals.
‘Nemesis’ a slow paced track that features some very crushing riffs and powerful vocals during the verses, sounding like a very modernized prog metal track, before the chorus comes in and is extremely melodic and features probably my favorite vocals from Ken.
‘Show me the Way’ is the heavy power ballad on the album, with some nice vocal arrangement during the chorus.
In case the rest of the album wasn’t already amazing, we have the grand finale, which comes in the form of ‘Grapes Of Baccus’, a four-part suite featuring various guest vocals throughout. It’s by far the most ambitious composition the band has attempted to date, and it certainly delivers.
Highlights include a great instrumental section to begin part I, the excellent vocals of Jorn Lande to close out part I, the really cool vocals of Nils K. Rue on part 3, and a really flashy piano solo, as well as a nice instrumental section to end the album on part 4.
As expected, the song is very complex and features several tempo changes throughout, but at the same time there’s still plenty of instantly memorable vocal sections, and it feels like they pulled everything together to give the album the outstanding finale it deserves.
Oceans Of Time’s “Trust” is a fantastic sophomore album which delivers a seamless blend between progressive and melodic metal elements, as well as extremely varied but consistently impressive songwriting, and some excellent guest vocals to help make it one of the strongest 2016 prog metal related albums.
Oceans of Time is definitely a band to watch out for, and I hope this album gets them the attention they deserve.
01 – Charon
02 – Save You
03 – Pray For The Dying
04 – Trust
05 – Show Me The Way
06 – 1865
07 – Black Death
08 – Nemesis
09 – Grapes of Baccus Pt. 1
10 – Grapes of Baccus Pt. 2
11 – Grapes of Baccus Pt. 3
12 – Grapes of Baccus Pt. 4
Ken Lyngfoss – Vocals
Lazz Jensen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nicolay Ryen Christiansen – Drums, Backing Vocals
Nickolas Main Henriksen – Keys, Backing Vocals
Geir Nilsen – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jorn Lande (Jorn, Ark, Masterplan) – Guest Vocals
Nils K. Rue (Pagan’s Mind) – Guest Vocals
Eirikur Hauksson (Ken Hensley’s Live Fire) – Guest Vocals
Ole Myrholt (Gaia Epicus, Tremor) – Guest Vocals
Marlyn Smørsgård, Iselin Helgesen – Backing Vocals
thanks to Travis Green
Mixed & mastered at Jailhouse Studios by Tommy Hansen
BUY IT !